Black Garlic Butter
I picked up a head of black garlic at the market the other day. It is one of those exotic ingredients that have been popping up on restaurant menus and food literature and although I bought it before, this was my first attempt at using it. The head of garlic is completely black and soft to the touch. When you break it open the cloves are large and black and taste caramelized and tamarind-tangy.
Black garlic is made by heating the heads at specific temperature and humidity for up to three months. There is no smoking or caramelization processes, simply aging under moderate heat. Essentially the process ferments the amino-acids and natural sugars in the garlic. Apparently you can make black garlic at home using a rice cooker or you can buy a black garlic fermenting machine. I haven’t explored these options yet.
How to use black garlic:
- Garlic butter
- Spread on pizza
- Mix with hummus
- Add to sauces
- Spread on grilled bread
- Add to risotto or rice dishes
1 head black garlic (about 6 large cloves)
2 stick butter, 1/2 cup each, softened
Salt and pepper
Optional ingredients: chopped fresh herbs, lemon or orange zest
Note: I prefer to make this in two batches and make each a little different. If you fully process the garlic to a paste and then mix in the butter you get an earthy colour butter. If you process only until garlic is chopped and then mix in the soft butter with a spatula or lightly with a food processor you get light coloured butter with black specks. See images above.
Place 3 cloves in a small food processor and process until mashed or until chopped.
Add the softened butter and salt and continue mixing until combined.
Transfer to a small dish and using a spatula mix the garlic butter to combine.
Add optional ingredients if using.
Spread the butter into a log shape on plastic wrap or parchment (I find it easier to do with plastic) and roll into a log tightening the ends.
Repeat with the remaining garlic and butter.
Place rolls in the fridge or the freezer until needed.