My first introduction to the concept of garlic bread was extremely low-brow. Slices of white bread, slathered with margarine, sprinkled with garlic salt and toasted, weren’t exactly authentic, but they were quite delicious, and they set a foundation for a lifetime of garlic bread exploration and appreciation.
I thought I’d peaked with roasted garlic, but there’s another, even darker, more flavorful bulb to spread on your bread: black garlic. Thanks to long-term heating under extremely specific conditions, the garlic mellows, darkens, and turns into the stickiest, sweetest version of itself — it’s practically garlic candy. (It’s also fairly impractical to make yourself, but you can find it at specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods and asian markets.) Think of all the flavours you associate with roasted garlic, eliminate the harsh ones, and add a little balsamic vinegar reduction; that is what black garlic tastes like.
The soft, candy-like cloves are wonderful mixed into sauces, rice dishes, and anything else that’s good with “regular” garlic, but — and I’m sure we all saw this coming — my favourite (spreadable) black garlic delivery system is a deeply flavorful compound butter.
Black Garlic Compound Butter
An entire head of black garlic
200 grams salted butter
Let the butter soften and come completely to room temperature. Gently remove the cloves from their paper — saving the paper for stock — and place the peeled garlic in the bowl of your food processor. Cut the butter into quarters, add it to the food processor, and blend until the two are completely combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Spread it on bread, fry eggs in it, or toss it with hot pasta for the most refined buttered noodles of your existence.