It doesn’t happen very often but M and I went grocery shopping a few weeks back. Now I am talking about real grocery shopping not picking up a couple things for dinner. While in the produce department we discovered something I had only heard rumors about. “Could it be?” I said. M asked if it was rotten? I turned to him and said I prefer the term “fermented”. So with that I threw 2 heads of Black Garlic in the cart. I could not wait to get home and open up my treasure.
Then the realization came to me that I have no idea what to do with this! So the package sat there for several days while I researched. I wanted to really highlight this strange new ingredient not just throw it in any old dish. I found 2 recipes off the Black Garlic website that really sounded yummy.
First up was Scallops with Black Garlic and Chorizo. I followed the recipe exactly and it was a perfect appetizer. I might have a drizzled a little olive oil on top to finish it up but other than that no tweaking. This recipe is so versitile. I could switch out any number of ingredients and come up with a great starter. The Black Garlic shined beautifully. It had such a sweet, mellow taste that complimented the scallops. I could taste garlic but with none of the bite.
Next up was the Mushroom and Black Garlic Risotto. Again I followed this recipe fairly closely; why fix something that is not broken. I did not have vegetable stock on hand, I used chicken stock instead, so it was not vegetarian but neither am I! Again the earthiness of both the mushrooms and Black Garlic worked extremely well together. Also, I have never added marcarpone cheese to any risotto but HO BOY I highly recomend it! In fact I had never used marscarpone for anything savory but I have seen the light; this stuff is so good! You could put it on a shoe and it would make it taste creamy and decadent.
So the verdict; I really enjoyed it. It was a nice change from your traditional garlic. It was sweet, savory, creamy (yes creamy), earthy and just plain nice. M on the other hand had no reaction. He said it’s fine nothing special. He leans toward the bitter, he loves it when I burn the garlic and black garlic has long lost any bitterness its fresh cooked (burned) counter part has.
So if you happen upon it at your local grocery store I highly recommend trying it if for no other reason than to say you have. If you are really interested I believe the Black Garlic website actually sells it.