Have you ever cooked with Black Garlic? I tried this black garlic from Sainsbury's but I had to do some on-line research first to find out what it was and what best to use it in. Initially I used it in some hummus - big mistake! It tasted awful! So, intrigued to find vegetables that would compliment the strong bitter-sweet flavour, I reckoned that sweet potatoes or butternut squash might be a good bet!
"Black garlic is sweet meets savory, a perfect mix of molasses-like richness and tangy garlic undertones. It has a tender, almost jelly-like texture with a melt-in-your-mouth consistency similar to a soft dried fruit. Hard to believe, but true. It’s as delicious as it is unique."
What is the history of Black Garlic? An article appeared in The Guardian last year telling the story of a farmer from the South West who had discovered a 4000 year old Korean recipe for creating Black Garlic on the internet. So it's been around a long time, perhaps, but the Black Garlic we can buy today is made using modern machinery to "ferment" or age the garlic, and it's relatively new process.
What are the health benefits of Black Garlic? It's a well known fact that white garlic is high in antioxidants but apparently, black garlic has been found to have almost twice the antioxidant properties. There are also reports that regular consumption of Black Garlic may help to reduce cholesterol levels and that it has been of benefit to at least one sufferer of psoriasis.
The black garlic clove above is soft and spongy and you have to slice it in order to cook with it. It's supposed to be sweeter than regular garlic. Used raw, it has an almost liquorice-like,marmite taste which we didn't find pleasant at all. However, once it is cooked, the flavour is much more subtle and it adds mild, sweet undertones to the overall flavour rather than overwhelming it.
To prepare the oil to coat the sweet potatoes, I used this very handy mini chopper. It's one of my favourite items in the kitchen especially for dressings and small portions of hummus or dips. It's actually quite reasonably priced on Amazon.
To coat the sweet potatoes before you cook them, place the potatoes in a bowl with a lid or in a freezer bag, pour over the dressing and give them a good shake.
By doing this you can cut down on the amount of oil you use, the sweet potatoes are perfectly coated with the herbs, spices and garlic and you don't even need to turn them during the cooking process.
Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges with Black Garlic, Chilli and Rosemary GF
2 large sweet potatoes, washed and each cut into 8 wedges
1 - 2 cloves black garlic, chopped
1 - 2 red chilli peppers, sliced with or without the seeds
1 heaped tsp dried rosemary
2 tblsps extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
- Set the oven to 180° C.
- Tip the chopped black garlic and chilli peppers, dried rosemary and extra virgin olive oil into a mini chopper and blend until the black garlic and chilli is finely chopped or alternatively chop the ingredients very finely and mix in a bowl.
- Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Place the sliced sweet potato wedges into a bowl or bag and shake until the wedges are covered in the dressing.
- Tip into a roasting tin.
- Cook for 25 minutes to 35 minutes or until soft.