Pickled Garlic Mystery

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capeman29

Assistant Cook
Joined
Oct 20, 2010
Messages
2
I am wondering about pickled garlic, specifically the type that you get in the grocery store olive bar. Its hard, white and crunchy... incredibly tasty!

I've tried to find a recipe online to make this type of preserved garlic, but i cant find anything.

From what i am gathering, most online recipes call for normal garlic cloves... which is the common, easy to find softneck garlic. I have added this kind of garlic to almost everything I have ever pickled... from vinegar picked eggs to fermented pickles... and this garlic does not turn into the mild crunchy snack you get at the deli olive bar.

I'm thinking the difference is that the garlic used in the deli is of the hardneck variety, which is harder to find, since its harder to grow and doesnt store as long... but since there are no correct recipes online, im not sure if this is even the difference.

SO... after all that... my question is, does anybody know how to make crunchy mild pickled garlic, and not the soggy rough tasting kind i keep ending up with?

~~~ this is my first post, so if i put this in the wrong section, or did something wrong, please dont flame me too much, thanks! ~~~
 

Nadia_

Cook
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
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71
Location
Northern NJ
I'm sorry I don't have a recipe for you, but I would love to know as well. I LOVE that white garlic found in the olive bar. Sooo tasty! Anyone?
 

blissful

Master Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
5,041
I don't have a tried and true recipe I've tried just yet.
Here is a link to two pickled garlic recipes.
http://www.ncw.wsu.edu/family/nutrition/documents/PickledGarlic.pdf
The first one looks promising, the salt may draw the moisture out of the garlic, then pickled with liquids-wine and vinegar-maybe it rehydrates them? I'd like to find a tried and true recipe that keeps them crunchy too.

I'd like to find a T&T recipe for crunchy garlic with just a salty and acidic taste (and garlicy too of course), not so much needing the spices and ginger.

If you search for 'crispy pickled garlic recipes' you'll find many refrigerator and untested pickled garlic recipes. Refrigerated pickled garlic is probably more crispy and easier.

Which kind of pickled garlic are you looking for? Refrigerated or canned?

I'm not sure that hard necked variety or soft necked variety would make a difference if you are using them soon after harvest. If you used them later when they started to dry out--months later--it might be a factor.

If I find something that works for me, I'll post later.
I wonder if McNerd has suggestions for keeping them crispy?
 

blissful

Master Chef
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Mar 25, 2008
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5,041
I experimented tonight with 2 cups of garlic.
(it's all fresh and cured from the garden)
Quick blanched them to take the paper off, started two refrigerator jars.
1/2 the garlic with 1/2 cup cider vinegar and 2 T salt and 3 T sugar.
1/2 the garlic with 1/2 cup cider vinegar and 2 T salt, no sugar.

In a couple weeks we'll try them to see how they turned out.
This will give me an idea what kind of pickled garlic I like better.

We also took the smaller cloves, about a cup, chopped them in the processor without taking the paper off of them.
Put them in vinegar and salt and a little water and shook them up. Took the lighter weight paper which floated to the top, out of the jars, leaving the cloves chopped to use for cooking.

It's all in the fridge and I'll be happy not to have to peel and chop every time I need garlic.
 

blissful

Master Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
5,041
Tasted each batch, both are good, crispy and garlicy, not hot like fresh garlic. I tried them yesterday and then today. I don't smell garlicy--I had my people here sniff me to make sure I wasn't oozing garlic from every pore!!
It's all white and fresh looking (none of it turned green or blue). Yum, try it out.
 

FoodieAustinTX

Assistant Cook
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
1
I have recently been experimenting with fermentation such as saurkraut and such from a book I purchased called wild fermentation. I have been doing the kraut and adding garlic as this is traditional and when I do the garlic I leave it in bulbs and its crunchy, tangy, and delish. Today I actually made a batch of kraut and added more garlic because I loved it so much. Either way I'm sure you could do this with just garlic. Basically this fermenation is healthy and creates lactobascilli which are healthy for digestion. All you do is take the cabbage and chop it in a food processor and lay it on a sheet pan covered in wax paper. Sprinkle with plenty of couse non-iodized sea salt and leave for 15 min covered with a tea towel. While it's leaching itself of excess water is when I take the garlic bulbs and mash them just to take off the outer skins and add them to the bottom of an old glass pickle jar. Once 15 min is up press any excess water from the cabbage and sprinkle with a little more salt. The ratio of salt I forget but the book says about 3 tbl to a 5 gallon bucket. I usually use a tbl or so in my small pickle jar. I put the garlic in the bottom and start filling with cabbage and tamp it down with a wooden spoon. Add filtered water just above the cabbabe and leave a little room at the top. Take a plastic bag and fill with filtered water and place it on top. It needs to breathe and you can check it each day and skim off any slime if it appears. It says it can be ready after 2-3 days but I let mine for for 7 because I like the tang. You should see little bubbles form after a few days and you know some fermentation is happening and I like to drink the liquid as it also has many health benefits as well. I hope this inspires some of you to ferment as it has me. Once you spend .60 to make the most amazing kraut you will be hooked. Happy fermenting.
 

blissful

Master Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
5,041
FoodieAustinTX--thank you for sharing your experience and welcome to DC.

I haven't been able to find a naturally fermented garlic recipe from a university extension yet.
I have enjoyed fermented dill pickles and sauerkraut and there were directions somewhere on the web from a university extension on how to can the results below the boiling point, preserving the crunchiness of the product.
 

gadzooks

Sous Chef
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
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895
Location
SoCal
Cold-pickled garlic, as per my friend, John Iwata. Empty a 1 lb. container of peeled garlic cloves into a glass jar and fill to cover with seasoned (sweet) rice vinegar. Put the lid on and place in the back of the fridge for a week or two. Done! He also sometimes adds a chili or two but always uses sweet rice vinegar. The garlic comes out sweet, robust and crunchy.
 

blissful

Master Chef
Joined
Mar 25, 2008
Messages
5,041
Tasted each batch, both are good, crispy and garlicy, not hot like fresh garlic. I tried them yesterday and then today. I don't smell garlicy--I had my people here sniff me to make sure I wasn't oozing garlic from every pore!!
It's all white and fresh looking (none of it turned green or blue). Yum, try it out.

I usually don't quote myself but this stuff lasted over a year, crunchy, white, excellent.

Gadzooks, I'm going to try to make it hotter like in your suggestion since I'm the only one that eats it much. I mostly just grab a few cloves when I need a pickle side to a sandwich or I'm making an anti-pasta plate.
 

Skittle68

Sous Chef
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Messages
882
Location
Duluth, MN
blissful said:
I usually don't quote myself but this stuff lasted over a year, crunchy, white, excellent.

Gadzooks, I'm going to try to make it hotter like in your suggestion since I'm the only one that eats it much. I mostly just grab a few cloves when I need a pickle side to a sandwich or I'm making an anti-pasta plate.

Very cool! I love pickled garlic and will have to try this :)
 

Bacardi1

Washing Up
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
116
Me too! Wonder if one of the large ethnic markets around here carry rice vinegar in larger bottles? The supermarkets just have tiny ones.

Anyway - thanks for the recipe Gadzooks! :)
 

NorthIdaho Foodie

Assistant Cook
Joined
Oct 2, 2012
Messages
1
Crunchyness of delicious pickled garlic

Earlier someone said-
"I'm not sure that hard necked variety or soft necked variety would make a difference if you are using them soon after harvest. If you used them later when they started to dry out--months later--it might be a factor."

Regarding crunchy pickled garlic:
Researching the fine points of garlic is a hobby of mine. Crunchyness is less related to pickling technique than to the kind of garlic used.

Hundreds of cultivars of hardneck heritage garlic exist. Some such as Georgian Fire garlic are so firm they remain crunchy after being sauteed with vegetables. The best time to buy fresh hardneck garlic from organic growers is around August and September. Look for growers in areas with very cold winters. Eastern Washington and Idaho are big producers of gourmet heirloom hardneck garlics. (A consolation for the cold winters we have here!)
 

sparrowgrass

Head Chef
Joined
Jun 29, 2004
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Highest point in Missouri
I have 4 or 5 pints of pickled garlic in the pantry (so far--more may be coming!)

I use two and a half cups water, two and half cups vinegar, 1/4 cup salt. Boil it, pour it over the peeled garlic in pint or half pint jars, waterbath for 5 minutes. Let the cloves stand for at least 2 weeks to develop the flavor. Add a chili pepper or some dill if you want.

I have never had olive bar pickled garlic, but the garlic cloves in my dilly beans were my favorite part of the jar, so this year, I eliminated the beans!!

I do recommend really fresh garlic--I grew my own. To easily peel, dunk cloves in boiling water for a minute. (I tried that two bowl shaking trick--it helps, but doesn't work so well with really fresh garlic.)
 

deelorra

Assistant Cook
Joined
Dec 20, 2013
Messages
4
Location
Denver
Hope I'm not adding to this discussion too late but I noticed that the olives at our grocery store olive bar are bathed in an orange tinted oil and they have red chili peppers in the same container. I'm thinking the peppers give the oil it's color. But I'm wondering if they first pickled the garlic cloves and then added the oil. Probably olive oil. Does anyone have a recipe along those lines?
 

Dawgluver

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Apr 12, 2011
Messages
25,032
Welcome to DC! Not sure if I'd pickle caramelized garlic, that I would freeze.

But I do agree with Sparrowgrass and others here, the garlic cloves in my pickled beans are great!
 
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BlindRabbit

Assistant Cook
Joined
Jan 13, 2014
Messages
8
Location
Wiltshire
Welcome to DC! Not sure if I'd pickle caramelized garlic, that I would freeze.

But I do agree with Sparrowgrass and others here, the garlic cloves in my pickled beans are great!

I imagined it would be nice caramelised brown,and pickled in olive oil?
 

Dawgluver

Chef Extraordinaire
Joined
Apr 12, 2011
Messages
25,032
I imagined it would be nice caramelised brown,and pickled in olive oil?

We've had a number of discussions here about preserving garlic in oil, it should be fine if you use it within a week, and keep it in the fridge, otherwise you risk getting really sick. Pickling involves vinegar or some other type of acid, and/or salt, and then usually canning it. Putting something in oil isn't pickling. Please be careful!
 

BlindRabbit

Assistant Cook
Joined
Jan 13, 2014
Messages
8
Location
Wiltshire
We've had a number of discussions here about preserving garlic in oil, it should be fine if you use it within a week, and keep it in the fridge, otherwise you risk getting really sick. Pickling involves vinegar or some other type of acid, and/or salt, and then usually canning it. Putting something in oil isn't pickling. Please be careful!

Yes, that's what I meant by pickling :( which is why my G/F says its dangerous to do that. I wish I could preserve the flavour of caramelized garlic somehow. Perhaps freezing like you say, is the better option.
 

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