Q: Raw garlic in recipes (salad dressing, pesto) gives me an upset stomach. Is there any way to tame the garlic to be more palatable?
Janet Cornell, Glen Ellyn
A: Assuming you don't have some sort of allergy or issue with eating garlic, I'd try cooking the garlic before adding it to recipes. You'll get rid of the "bite" and mellow the flavor.
Roasting garlic, in particular, develops a rich, caramelized flavor that is much different from the hard, flash heat of raw cloves.
Another option is to use elephant garlic, whose large size is offset by super-mellow flavor.
Here are directions on how to roast garlic from "Melissa's Great Book of Produce" by Kathy Thomas: 1. Cut off the top of an unpeeled garlic head, exposing the cloves. 2.Wrap the garlic head in foil, cut side up. 3. Drizzle a little olive oil on the cut garlic cloves. Close the foil for creamy white garlic; leave the foil open if you want some caramelization. 4. Roast the garlic head in a 450-degree oven for 30 minutes or until cloves are soft. 5. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, turn the garlic head upside down and squeeze the cloves from their papery covering.
You can also roast elephant garlic one clove at a time. Thomas says these cloves are so large they can be peeled with a paring knife once roasted.
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