I peeled six heads of garlic today, and need to find a way to safely store them. In the past I have stored them in garlic oil in the frige. Now I hear it's not safe to do that. Is there any other way?
You can store for a short time in the fridge (one week), or just pop it in the freezer.
You can also freeze without the oil. Just whole cloves in a bag. It will be soft upon thawing and most useful for cooked dishes rather than fresh, but still really good.
During harvest/canning season, I'll take a morning and peel dozens of heads of garlic, resulting in ziplock bags of ready-to-use cloves. I've found that I can keep them in a plastic bag in the fridge for months, but since they're alive, they'll start to sprout roots after about 6 weeks.
When the canning is finished, I often have a few pints of peeled cloves left over. In years past, I've just pureed it and frozen it pressed flat in freezer ziplocks, breaking off a piece as needed.
This year, I'm trying keeping them in the fridge in pint jars filled with rice wine vinegar.
You can also chop the cloves and place in olive oil then freeze the mixture. Refrigeration is short-term but freezing is almost indefinite.
You can also slice them up and dehydrate them, store them in a jar, and when needed, you can place them in a jar and pour oil over some of them and keep in the fridge. This way, you can keep the dehydrated ones for many many months until you use them.
I would like to ask why some of you process and store garlic rather than just peeling the cloves as you need them from stored whole garlic. Can you tell me what you use it for and what you perceive the advantages to be?
I pull my garlic in July, cure it until late August when its probably at its peak flavor and easy to peel and such. From that point on, there is a slow decline in quality over the months until may/june of next year when its either sprouted or rotten - so theoretically, preserving it at its peak is the way to go. In practice, I generally keep it un-processed as long as I can, but when they start to turn green in March, I do something with them.
Secondly, its just a time saver and convenience thing - If I want to make, say, hummus, I can pour some olive oil into a small frying pan and plop in a frozen cube of minced garlic, saving the effort of having to peel 5-6 cloves, chop/mince it up, then clean up all that paper and mess, then plop it in the oil.
OK david52 - now I have another question. Can you share your hummus recipe? I've never come across one where the garlic is fried. I just drop the cooked chick peas, oil, whole peeled raw garlic cloves, a little salt and lemon juice in the blender. No cooking.
I use so much garlic that dealing with 5 or 6 cloves is a daily occurrence and it doesn't take more than a couple of minutes. A bash with the side of a knife is the best way to deal with garlic IMO. I've tried presses and graters but all are a waste of time and a faff to clean up.
Try frying the smooshed garlic in the olive oil until it turns a nice shade of tan, then proceed. The garlic flavor permeates the oil, giving in much more punch.
Oh, and I add a good dash of sesame oil into the blender along with the rest. Secret ingredient....
You have all helped me a lot, and I thank you. I use tahini and sesame oil in my hummus, and lots of lemon!
This year I've become quite fond of a tahini 'sauce' made by diluting the sesame seed paste with water and lemon juice, then having it on sliced tomatoes.