photography of garlic on wooden table

Let’s get this straight from the very get go. Garlic is not a spice. Rather, it is a root vegetable and although we use it to spice up our foods, it really isn’t an herb or a spice. We’re sorry to burst your bubble. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t spice up our favorite dishes with a touch (more than a touch?) of garlic. We’ll take a quick look at some of the types of recipes garlic can be used as a featured ingredient – in other words, where garlic is the predominant taste.

Appetizers

If you have ever had the pleasure of being invited to the home of an Italian/American family for dinner, you will clearly see that garlic plays a huge role in almost every dish, beginning with those delectable appetizers. Sometimes they’ll serve freshly baked garlic knots with cheese dip. You might not think of breads as an appetizer, but don’t Italian restaurants serve garlic rolls or bread even before taking your order? There’s something about garlic that whets the whistle.

In fact, many Italian families have organic garlic bulbs growing in their gardens or kept deep in their root cellars so that it’s always available. As for appetizers featuring garlic, some of the most popular include:

  • Shrimp scampi appetizer portion
  • Deep fried zucchini with garlic
  • Garlic crostini (broiled garlic crusts)
  • Baked ricotta with roasted garlic

And those are just a few examples of amazing crowd-pleasers featuring garlic as the predominant, and oh-so yummy, taste.

cooked food on black ceramic bowl
Photo by Farhad Ibrahimzade on Pexels.com

Entrées

There are just so many entrées featuring the predominant taste of garlic that it would be difficult to list them all. However, for starters, some of the most delicious are:

  • Dinner size portion of shrimp scampi
  • Chicken quarters roasted with garlic
  • Homemade pasta with olive oil, garlic and herbs
  • White fish slow cooked with a creamy garlic sauce

And there are obviously tons more. It’s easy to modify almost any of your favorite entrées with garlic, so maybe it’s time to get creative!

Side Dishes

Here again, there are literally so many side dishes that lean heavily on the flavor of garlic that it would be next to impossible to list them. However, there is one side dish that comes readily to mind and that would be sautéed brussels sprouts in olive oil with onions and a ton of garlic. Almost any combination of stir-fried vegetables and rice dishes go well with garlic as the predominant flavor. Most good cooks will always find ways to add garlic to every side dish from vegetables to pasta and other grains. Have you ever tried garlic couscous? It’s amazing!

What, No Desserts?

Actually, there are quite a few surprisingly sweet desserts featuring garlic. Did you ever hear of garlic bread pudding? Well, there actually is such a thing and if you haven’t tried it, you are missing something amazingly sweet and garlicky at the very same time. You might want to check out the recipes on the Sweety High website for interesting desserts with garlic. They may sound a bit odd at first, that is until you’ve taken the very first bite. You are sure to be in garlic heaven, and that’s a very good place to leave you now. It isn’t heaven unless there’s garlic. Remember that!

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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