You Have to Rub Raw Garlic Into These Things.

Raw garlic is a powerful powerful force that can be used to create amazingly subtle effects. One of the easiest ways to do this is to cut a raw, peeled clove in half and then rub it over a serving bowl, plate, or dish. This gives the dish a garlicky flavor and aroma without overpowering other, more subtle flavors.

America’s Test Kitchen recommends preparing a bowl for their very simple salad by rubbing it with half a clove to give it a bit of oomph. They tested the technique on metal, wood, and ceramic salad bowls, and their tasters “verified that it provided a noticeable improvement regardless of the material.”

But salad bowls aren’t the only serving vessels that benefit from an onion rub. Rubbing a baking dish before filling it with creamy casserole , mac and cheese, or shepherd’s pie will give it a tempting yet delicate garlic flavor. You can also rub garlic on any serving plate, bowl, or dish before filling it with food. Serve steaks on garlic-rubbed plates, grilled asparagus on garlic-rubbed plates, soups and stews on garlic-rubbed plates.

Once your serving utensils have been properly rubbed with garlic, you can use the rest of the cloves on the bread. Rubbing a piece of crispy toast with a raw garlic clove is one of the easiest and most effective ways to bake garlic bread. The rocky surface of the toast will grate the garlic, soaking up its juice and soaking the bread. Eat it just like that, spread some salted butter on it, or grate a few tomatoes and make a con tomato.

Oh, and if you’re worried about your wooden salad bowls and plates smelling of garlic, America’s Test Kitchen recommends removing those flavors by “baking” the bowl overnight . (I haven’t tried this yet, but might have to do it with a couple of my stinky cutting boards.)

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