Save Tiny Garlic Cloves for Stock

Save Tiny Garlic Cloves for Stock
Photo: Bozena Fulawka, Shutterstock
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I hate tiny garlic cloves. I hate them so much. Nothing disappoints me more than peeling the papery outer skins away from a bulb of garlic only to discover it is comprised of many tiny cloves, rather than a smaller number of beautiful, fat cloves.

Tiny cloves are annoying to peel. Unlike larger cloves, their skin does not slide off after a good smash with the blade of my knife. It clings to the cloves with the utmost stubbornness — you have to pick and peel and pray — and the amount of time required to get it off is disproportionate to the amount of garlic you are rewarded with. Death to the tiny cloves.

But… Even though they are incredibly obnoxious, tiny cloves are still garlic, and you should not throw them away. I would never tell you to throw away garlic, but I would also never tell you to waste precious time peeling pathetic, infuriating, tiny cloves. There is one good use to the infernal things, and that is stock.

Using tiny garlic cloves to flavour your stock means everyone wins. There’s no need to peel them — skins can go right in the stock pot with the rest of the clove — just smash them and chuck them in the pot. If you’re not making stock right then, toss ‘em in your stock bag, freeze them, then smash and chuck ‘em in the pot when you do make stock. I guess you could also use them to flavour some oil — just sauté them in for a few minutes until they are fragrant and remove before adding the rest of your ingredients — but picking out tiny garlic cloves from hot oil does not sound that fun to me. No. I think the best use for those little terrors is stock. Or least, it’s the laziest use, which — to me — is the same thing.

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