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Garlicky Creations You'll Love to Eat

3Roast Parsnip and Garlic Soup by MichellePetersJones on Flickr

When you’re looking to spice up dinner creations, garlic is a staple that can be used to make many intriguing new dishes. From appetizers to desserts, a little garlic can go a long way in making your meal flavor-rich and tasty. Recipe selections offer a range of fresh ingredients and all highlight that kitchen workhorse, fresh garlic.

Garlic-infused recipes fall into five main categories:

Appetizers

-Cold Shrimp with Garlicky Vinaigrette: Cook one pound of shrimp in boiling water for two minutes until just pink. Remove the shells and set aside to cool. Whisk together a third of a cup each of lemon juice and olive oil. Add a tablespoon of chopped garlic, a tablespoon of chopped parsley, one and a half teaspoons of fresh thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the garlic vinaigrette over the shrimp and refrigerate until ready to serve.

-Red Pepper Antipasti: Preheat the oven to 375. Slice four onions and six garlic bulbs in half and place on a roasting sheet. Add eight whole peppers pierced with a skewer to allow steam to escape. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with fresh herbs and cook for 45 minutes. 

Soup/salad

French Garlic Soup: Peel 24 cloves of garlic and place 22 cloves plus eight fresh sage leaves in a large saucepan. Add five cups of water and two teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes and then strain the garlic and sage out of the garlicky stock. Mash the garlic by hand and return it to the soup, adding a pinch of saffron. Simmer until ready to serve. For serving, rub cut garlic (from your two reserved cloves) on four slices of day-old French bread. Top with grated Gruyère cheese and broil the bread until the cheese melts and bubbles. Place the bread in the bottom of your soup bowls, pour soup over and top your bowl with additional grated Gruyère.

Main dish

Rosemary Garlic Chicken: Cut a roasted chicken into pieces. Melt one stick of butter in a saucepan and add the beer of your choice to the saucepan. Add in one tablespoon of garlic and a few rosemary leaves. Simmer to reduce the beer. Create a basting brush by tying several rosemary stocks to a wooden spoon. Place the chicken on a prepared grill and baste with the beer-rosemary mixture. The rosemary basting brush will add additional flavor. Continue to baste the chicken periodically until cooked through.

Sides

Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Finely mince a teaspoon of garlic. Meanwhile, boil or microwave three medium-sized potatoes in salted water until soft. Drain and use a potato masher to mash the potatoes. Add garlic, salt and pepper, up to four tablespoons of butter and a quarter cup of sour cream; stir until smooth. 

Drinks/dessert

-Garlic Martini: Place two jiggers of gin and half a jigger of vermouth in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake or stir and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an olive stuffed with a garlic clove.

Don’t feel pressured to serve all these dishes at once in a garlicky gala. You can choose among these recipes to put together your next dinner party or family meal. Once you begin using garlic in unexpected ways, you may be inspired to add fresh garlic to more dishes.