Soft, tangy, pungent black garlic is the pantry ingredient Ottolenghi reckons you can't do without: "black garlic has a highly concentrated taste: liquorice meets balsamic meets the absolute essence of garlic". We couldn't agree more. Reminiscent also of molasses and tamarind, it gives an unexpected depth of flavour to dishes from risottos to salads, and from purées to pizzas.
What actually is black garlic? Well, it isn't a special variety of garlic. It's actually regular garlic that has been slowly aged and fermented into sticky, pungent, date-like cloves. Without the harshness of raw garlic, its milder flavour means that you can add black garlic directly to your dishes. If you want to cook with the very same black garlic used in the Ottolenghi test kitchen, check out The Original Black Garlic, whose expertly aged products are included in the Ottolenghi FLAVOUR hamper. Here Ottolenghi inspires us with five black garlic recipe ideas.
Olive Oil Flatbreads with Three-Garlic Butter from Ottolenghi FLAVOUR by Yotam Ottolenghi & Ixta Belfrage
"Some things are impossible to resist and, indeed, shouldn’t be resisted. The three-garlic butter is the best example we can think of", say Yotam and Ixta. Made with mellow slow-roasted garlic, sweet black garlic and pungent raw garlic, this insanely good butter is smothered onto crisp flatbreads, and topped with freshly grated tomato and fresh herbs. Yes!
Brown Rice with Caramelised Onions and Black Garlic from Ottolenghi SIMPLE by Yotam Ottolenghi
The secret to this simple side dish is all in the onions, caramelised until sweet, dark and sticky. They are the perfect pairing to the balsamic-liquorice richness of black garlic. Serve it up alongside lamb or pork.
Black garlic is a quick way to add a huge amount of flavour to golden, crunchy roasted Brussels. Tossed through with burnt butter, thyme and caraway, and served with pumpkin seeds and lemony tahini, this is a killer of a veggie side.
Cabbage Tacos with Celeriac and Date 'Barbecue' Sauce from Ottolenghi FLAVOUR by Yotam Ottolenghi & Ixta Belfrage
Black garlic, sticky dates, chilli, smoked paprika and balsamic create an umami-sweet, smoky and spicy 'barbecue' sauce here, with incredible layers of flavour. Celeriac does a good job of taking it on, wedged into a cabbage leaf and topped with goat's cheese and aromatic oil.
Roasted aubergine gets yet another Ottolenghi makeover here, topped with a creamy, tangy black garlic sauce, crispy garlic and tonnes of fresh herbs.