By: Jessica Hubble | LCA’s Digital Marketing Specialist
Garlic has been used as a spice for centuries, but some ancient cultures believed garlic had “magic” and healing powers. Central European folklore suggests that garlic could ward off werewolves, demons, and vampires. Let’s be honest, if you eat enough garlic your breath could ward off anyone! National Garlic day is April 19th, and we decided to celebrate by treating the LCA staff to garlic infused dishes. Who doesn’t love garlic!? We made garlic parmesan tomatoes and garlic dipping oil. In honor of National Garlic Day, I will take you through the recipes, include our tips and tricks, and reveal the staff’s favorite.
Before we begin, I must note that all of our ingredients were purchased in Las Colinas at Tom Thumb and at the Las Colinas Farmer’s Market. These ingredients can also be found at our Whole Foods.
For the garlic parmesan tomatoes, we used:
- 2 ripe tomatoes
- Olive oil
- 1 head of fresh garlic
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
For the parmesan tomatoes, start by sautéing garlic in olive oil until it reaches a golden-brown color, set aside the garlic and oil to be used later. Cut the top and bottom off the tomato to give it a steady base, then cut the tomato in half crosswise. Salt and pepper the tomatoes while you heat up the skillet, preferably the one used to sauté garlic, and place tomatoes on the skillet. You can also use a grill if you are having an outdoor party or prefer a smokier taste. Cook for 3-5 minutes, then flip the tomatoes. Top with the garlic oil mixture, thyme, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Cook for another 3 minutes and they’re ready to serve!
This recipe is a quick 30 minutes and makes a delicious appetizer for the spring. The tomatoes keep it light while the garlic mixes with the cheese to give a pop of flavor.
For the garlic dipping oil we used:
- 3 heads of garlic
- Olive oil
- Truffle oil
- Italian bread
We made two kinds of dipping oil, garlic truffle and garlic olive. Both were divine! Coworkers said that the staff kitchen smelled like an Italian restaurant. Our southern grandmas would be proud, we didn’t measure anything out. We used the method of a pinch, a sprinkle, and a drizzle. We taste tested as we seasoned, to make sure we got the mixture just right.
To start we roasted the garlic. I never knew how easy it could be to roast garlic. I always thought it was fancier than my cooking knowledge or ability. Luckily, I was wrong! Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, slice the top off the head of garlic to just expose the top. Place garlic in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and season with thyme and rosemary. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour.
When the garlic is roasted, remove from the oven and let the garlic cool until you can safely handle the garlic. Pour truffle oil into one bowl and olive oil into a separate bowl. Squeeze the garlic out of the peel. You will be surprised at how easily the garlic comes out of its peel. Into each bowl, mash the garlic with a fork and then whisk into the olive oil and truffle oil. Add salt, thyme, and rosemary to taste and serve with bread. Leftover oil can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 months, which is great if you want to make this ahead of time for a holiday or dinner party.
Staff had been eagerly coming by to check out the garlic dishes, and the amazing smell was wafting throughout the office. When the dishes were ready, staff came to test them out. The resounding favorite was the garlic dipping oil, but the tomatoes received high praise as well. you can never go wrong with bread because, it’s always a crowd favorite.
Don’t let the threat of garlic breath keep you from celebrating National Garlic Day! I Must mention this; besides gum, mouthwash, and brushing your teeth, you can get rid of garlic breath by eating parsley, raw apples, drinking lemon juice, or drinking green tea. We didn’t have any of this on hand, but it didn’t stop us from having fun.
With these recipes, you are sure to wow your friends, but you might want to keep it all for yourself!