Add a Subtle Flavor to a Pasta or Salad by Rubbing a Bowl of Garlic
Who doesn’t love garlic? Vampires, I suppose. But for the rest of us, garlic is usually a desirable ingredient. To add a touch of garlic to a salad or pasta dish without making it too strong, rub a clove of garlic in a bowl.
This is an old recipe that chefs have been using for ages. Epicurious explains how it works:
Take a bowl (it doesn’t matter whether it is wooden, glass, or even plastic), peel a clove of garlic, cut it in half, and wipe the entire inside of the bowl with the cut side of each half. Add vegetables such as chopped tomatoes or courgettes and add a handful of fresh herbs, some salt and pepper. Add freshly cooked, still warm pasta to a bowl and toss with vegetables and herbs, drizzle with olive oil. The pasta seasoned with olive oil will scoop up the garlic juice from the bowl, coating each strand with a gentle dose of sweet garlic flavor. Eat the pasta while it is still warm, or wait until it is more suitable for cooking.
Kitchn adds that this tip probably also works because of the scent of garlic – our sense of smell affects our sense of taste, so capturing the scent can go a long way.
The LA Times suggested that this advice gained popularity in the 1930s with restaurateur and cookbook author George Rector. In the article, they report that the Rector’s idea to season a wooden salad bowl was a myth, but they also seem to be suggesting that this old garlic tip is too. However, many recipes require the bowl to be prepared this way. And while I’m not a chef, I’ve tested this tip myself, and it really works as it should – it adds garlic flavor and subtle flavor to the dish. Try it yourself, and read more at the link below.