Nothing beats fresh garlic for adding flavour and depth to a dish. I always have a few bulbs on hand, and use it often. Occasionally I have more than I realized, and then turn it into one of our family's favourites...roast garlic. Roasting garlic changes the texture to a soft, creamy smoothness and the flavour to a sweet buttery yumminess.
To roast garlic, preheat the oven to 400F. Separate the cloves and place them, unpeeled on a piece of foil, and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Lightly scrunch the foil closed and bake until the cloves are softened, about 30 minutes. Allow the garlic to cool, then gently peel off the skin.
The roasted garlic can be added to pasta sauce, stuffed under the skin of a whole chicken with fresh herbs before roasting, spread on crackers with cheese, stuffed into twice baked potatoes, as a pizza topping, mixed into mayonnaise to elevate your sandwiches or burgers.
The link below gives a nutritional breakdown of garlic, which is high in vitamin C and B6.
Fresh garlic can be used whole to add flavour to soups, mashed potatoes (add to the cooking water and then mash with the potato), placed in the roasting pan along with the meat.
Sliced garlic can be used to infuse flavour into olive oil by briefly heating the oil and then allowing it to cool and steep before cooking. It can also be pushed into small slits made in a roast before cooking to add flavour throughout the meat.
Mincing garlic releases a lot more juice and flavour than simply slicing it, and works well in marinades, sauces, casseroles, stews, salad dressings, hummus and other dips, pesto.
Dried garlic is often used to make dry rubs, or sprinkled on potatoes for roasting or mixed with breadcrumbs when making chicken fingers.
So, don't be afraid to use garlic, in all its forms. Use your imagination and you'll be surprised at what you might come up with!