The texture of Black Garlic is unique – tender and soft, almost like a jelly, and it can easily be spread with a knife. You can buy peeled cloves or a whole head and easily process it yourself, but it is also available as a paste for stirring through all kinds of dishes. Unlike white garlic, it doesn’t need long, slow cooking to soften the acrid bite, so can be added at any stage of the cooking process.
Rich in umami, Black Garlic works well in tandem with similarly savoury ingredients, particularly red meat. Katy Heath of Balsajo says in a Bolognese or chilli con carne for four people, about five cloves or 20g of Balsajo Black Garlic Paste is a good place to start. It really cuts through fattiness in meat, so try it blended into a paste with some other seasonings and spread on a piece of beef, pork or venison. You could also mix black garlic paste with some breadcrumbs and fat to use as a flavourful sprinkle. It’s hard to overwhelm a dish with Black Garlic, as although the flavour is concentrated, it is still soft, so you can be generous.
Mushroom dishes too, benefit greatly from the earthy sweetness of Black Garlic – it’d be a fabulous addition to a mushroom risotto, for example – and it’s great with roasted aubergine. Vegetarian dishes, which can always benefit from an umami boost, are a natural home for the distinctive flavours of Black Garlic.