Black Garlic

One of my favorite things about travel is tasting local foods and learning new ways to prepare old favorites. My husband and I just returned from a wonderful trip to Canada where we dined out A LOT in Quebec City and Montreal. This year, I noticed that Black Garlic featured prominently in most dishes and restaurants across the province. I have to admit that I wasn’t familiar with black garlic but instantly fell in love with its rich and delicate umami flavor.

We met up with a friend who happens to own a small restaurant in Quebec City. He graciously took us on a tour of the small island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River where we tasted locally produced favorites like chocolate, vinegar, and yes….black garlic.

After returning from vacation with a few bulbs in my bag, I made a point to find out: 1) how to cook with black garlic, and 2) where to buy it?

Not surprisingly, many of the recipes I found that featured black garlic were influenced by Asian cuisine as the umami flavor had some similarity to soy sauce. My favorite dish featuring black garlic was a vegetarian take on Canadian poutine. A rich black garlic vegetable stock was used to prepare an oat risotto served with seasonal vegetables and cheese curds.

I later prepared a mixed mushroom sauce with black garlic served with seared cod. My son decided that the mushroom garlic sauce was a winner with pasta, and my husband enjoyed it with risotto and oven-roasted tomatoes.

Where to buy black garlic proved a little more difficult. There is always Amazon, but I was hoping to find it available locally. Happily, I did run across some at a local Wegman’s and an Asian market. While not always around, when you see it, grab it. You’ll be happy you did.

Black Garlic Mushrooms

4 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds of mixed mushrooms, clean and chopped
1 thinly sliced onion
4 chopped black garlic cloves
2 springs of fresh thyme
½ teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of paprika powder (sweet)
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup white wine
1 cup mushroom stock
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Add 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to a large pot and brown the mushrooms over medium-high heat. You may have to do this in 2 batches to avoid steaming the mushrooms. Set cooked mushrooms aside in a large bowl.

To the same pot, add remaining oil and onion. Cook over medium heat until onion begins to brown (5-10 minutes). Add black garlic and cook on medium to low heat with tarragon, thyme till they soften up. Add spices, wine, and stock. Bring to a low simmer and add mushrooms back to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until sauce thickens (15-20 minutes).

Serve with crusty bread, pasta, or steamed vegetables like cauliflower. Garnish with parsley and herbs.

3 thoughts on “Black Garlic

    1. Hi Kevin, Black garlic is a bit sweeter with a more mild flavor. It is also softer and easily emulsifies in liquid when you are cooking it. Hope you try it! Karen

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s