Garlic Lover’s Date NightBy Michelle Tompkins - 6 min read
Some may say that the absence of garlic could improve the odds for a more romantic evening, however, lovers of...
Some may say that the absence of garlic could improve the odds for a more romantic evening, however, lovers of garlic notice its absence and may be willing to take a chance on incorporating this versatile ingredient into recipes for a romantic evening. If you and your sweetie enjoy eating garlic then why not steer into the curve and indulge? There is always mints or toothpaste to neutralize things later on.
Cooking with garlic is fun and going on a date knowing that you may need to brush your teeth after could be a charming experience.
The flavor of garlic varies depending on the way it is prepared. Raw garlic is pungent and sharp, toasted garlic has a savory bite and roasted garlic is wonderfully sweet. For this meal, you both will enjoy everything that garlic has to offer. The recipes presented here cover two dish options and three courses and are easy to prepare and are fun to eat. Have a great date.
Let’s start with a simple amuse bouche that will leave your home smelling of the sweet aroma of roasted garlic. Since we are going for a garlic-themed food night, why not jump right in two options of pure garlic dishes? How about roasted garlic or a bagna cauda?
One of the best recipes for roasted garlic comes from Simply Recipes.
Roasted garlic undergoes a chemical reaction that alters the properties and
1-2 heads of Garlic
Salt and Pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (205° C).
- Peel and discard the outer papery layers of the whole garlic bulb, but leave the skins of the individual cloves of garlic intact. Use a sharp knife, cut 1/4 to a 1/2 inch from the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.
- Put the garlic heads in a baking pan, cut side up. (A muffin tin works great for this, as it keeps the garlic bulbs from rolling around.) Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each exposed head, using your fingers to rub the olive oil over all the cut, exposed garlic cloves. Cover the bulb with aluminum foil. Bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed.
- Let the garlic cool down enough so you can touch it without getting burnt. Use a small knife cut the skin slightly around each clove. Use a cocktail fork or your fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins. Add salt and pepper to taste. Eat alone or smear onto the baguette.
Now, roasted garlic is amazing, but a bath of garlic and oil is truly heavenly. While this food would surely kill a vampire, it will warm the soul of a garlic lover and will make your garlic date night even more magnificent.
Now there is a restaurant in both Beverly Hills and San Francisco, California called The Stinking Rose. They specialize on all things garlic and they are a great date spot too if you are local to those areas and want to enjoy a garlic infused evening with your date. However, their Bagna Cauda is the stuff where dreams come from. Better Recipes had a great version of this amazing garlic amuse bouche.
2½ cups Garlic Cloves, skins intact
2 cups Olive Oil
¼ cup Unsalted Butter, cut into bits
1× 2 oz can Anchovies
1-2 tbs Parsley for garnish
Salt and Pepper
French Baguette Bread, crackers or veggies for dipping
- Preheat oven to 275F
- Arrange garlic cloves into a glass or ceramic baking dish and pour the olive oil over the top
- Place the butter over the garlic
- Put the anchovies in a single layer on top
- Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until the garlic cloves are dense and limp-remove one clove to test; (Be careful not to burn yourself) let it cool for a moment and then squeeze it gently between your fingers, the garlic should immediately burst onto your fingers, indicating that it is soft and spreadable--remove from the oven. Taste to see if you need any extra seasonings. Salt is unlikely due to the anchovies, but pepper may be welcome. Add parsley.
- Put into a small serving bowl or better yet, a tiny crock pot to keep it warm
- Serve with sliced baguette, crackers for spreading or raw veggies for dipping
Now you may be thinking to yourself that you don’t like anchovies. Well, just know that in this form, the anchovies melt apart and add a salty, umami flavor to this amazing garlic dipping sauce.
So you have the amuse taken care of, what’s next? How bout a couple of tasty appetizers?
There are so many options for delicious garlic appetizer recipes, but as this is a romantic date, we will not include garlic fries or wings this time, but those are two very popular foods and we will be sharing recipes for those later as well. For this date, garlic mushrooms and steamed artichokes with a garlic aioli will make you and your garlic loving companion smile.
Jennifer Meyering has a wonderful recipe for Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms that is easy to prepare and oh, so yummy, while being a bit sexy too.
Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic (minced)
16 oz baby bella mushrooms (white button will do in a pinch)
Grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Place a large cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
- Add butter to a small, microwave safe bowl and cook on high for about 30 seconds until butter is melted. Add garlic and stir. Set aside
- Wash and pat dry mushrooms and carefully remove stems.
- Using an oven mitt, remove hot skillet from the oven and place mushrooms cap-side-down into the hot pan. Drizzle each mushroom with the garlic and butter mixture making sure to get most of it inside the caps and not into the skillet. Sprinkle tops with parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Roast at 400 degrees F for about 25-30 minutes. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
As we are trying to keep this garlic date night rather simple, even though there are many food options to choose from, a yummy freshly steamed artichoke with the perfect dipping sauce is a smile inducing combination.
Steamed Artichokes with Garlic Aioli
While you can switch out artichokes for broccoli or asparagus, eating the leaves of an artichoke can be fun and artichokes are good food for sharing.
Steaming the artichokes is very simple. All you need to do is trim the ends and part of the stem and put them into your steaming basket for about 35-40 minutes until tender, but if you want to see how it is done, check out this video from Ocean Mist Farms.
Now, for the best part, the garlic aioli. There are so many different garlic aioli recipes, many of them even involve making the mayo yourself. Well, as this is a date, why not make it easier, yet still delicious with this recipe from Epicurious.
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 teaspoon (or more) coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Mash garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt in small bowl until paste forms.
- Whisk in mayonnaise, olive oil, and lemon juice.
- Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper.
- Cover and refrigerate.
This can be made a day ahead.
You and your date have had a great garlic base, so next up are a couple of garlic-filled main courses that will make you happy that food this good exists.
The Main Course [Subhead]
As we have featured many recipes for heavier dishes, a yummy Garlic Shrimp in Lemon Butter Sauce might be the perfect fit, or if you want to continue with the rich meal options, then you may prefer a 40 Clove Garlic Chicken.
The Little Spice Jar has a spicy, garlicy dish that takes less than 15 minutes to prepare.
Garlic Shrimp in Lemon Butter Sauce
1 lb Shrimp
6 cloves Garlic, fresh
1/4 cup Parsley
1 tbsp Caper brine
2 tbsp Lemon juice
1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp Olive oil
3 tbsp Butter
A garlicky roast chicken is just so yummy and decadent, but like the shrimp, it is good for you. While there are many variations of recipes for the 40 Clove Garlic Chicken, Alton Brown gave the world one of the best ones on The Food Network. This is a dish where you may choose to use a fork, but attacking this garlicky goodness with your hands might even make it better.
40 Clove Garlic Chicken
1 whole chicken (broiler/fryer) cut into 8 pieces.
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil.
10 sprigs fresh thyme.
40 peeled cloves garlic.
Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and brown on both sides in a wide frying pan or skillet over high heat.
- Remove from heat, add oil, thyme, and garlic cloves. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove chicken from the oven, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes, carve, and serve.
So now you have multiple options for a garlic lover’s date night. These recipes may turn off a vampire, but they should work with anyone who loves garlic, just have a few mints nearby, just in case.