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grating head of garlic

  • j

I was reading an article in Grub Street and the woman said she makes a pasta sauce to which she adds a head of garlic. She grates the head of garlic. I don't understand how this would work - is the skin of the garlic included? Any ideas. BTW, the sauce was cherry tomatoes, pepporoncini, w hite wine, basil and sounded great.

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  1. I'm thinking she pops the cloves off the garlic head,unwraps them, and grates them individually?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Novelli

      Definitely. I grate cloves a lot of time, but boy would a whole head take a serious commitment. I hope it makes a lot!

    2. I don't see what the advantage would be to grating over using a good garlic press, if it's being used for a sauce. The press would be faster, with less waste. Using a mortar & pestle with a little salt is also quick and gives a nice creamy texture. Unless, the grater produces elegant strands of garlic that can be maintained in the sauce, and if that would be a desirable thing itself.

      1. You defiantly do NOT grate the skin. One thing I will tell you I have noticed over the years with garlic that I really like. I have one of those “slap chop” style devised where you put the cloves into a cup and you slap the handle down dicing and slicing the contents of the cup. When I use regular garlic cloves they come out diced very nice and very tiny which I like so some of the pieces will dissolve right into the dish or gravy as the case will be.

        However I found over the years if I take an elephant garlic and cut the individual cloves into smaller pieces and place it in the slap chop if you slap chop it enough the elephant garlic will turn into almost a creamy horseradish consistency. It becomes very frothy and very light with excellent flavor that literally just melts into the dish. I will take an entire garlic which will be four or five large cloves and split them in half……half I will chop into small pieces like normal garlic and the other half I will slap chop until it becomes the frothy consistency and I LOVE the flavor it brings out.

        1. How hot were the peperoncini, or in other words, which garden variety of peperoncini did you use? I been using a home made puree of roasted red bells and steamed 'ghost peppers' (bhut jolokia) along with microwaved peeled garlic cloves, olive oil and a little vinegar to prevent spoilage. An immersible blender works wonders. This puree can be used as a pasta condiment, soup flavoring, or on pizza. However, it is intensely incendiary due to the ghost peppers.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ChiliDude

            I haven't made this yet - haven't solved the grated garlic head issue.

            1. re: ChiliDude

              Sounds like it would make a fine wing sauce too.

            2. Perhaps she is using a porcelain ginger grater? I use mine for garlic on occasion. Very fast, extremely fine resulting texture. There are many styles, here is one example:


              1. ninja blender will do if you want it nicely ground.

                1. If I were to do this, I would use those disposable latex gloves, open the head, the gloves just rub the skins right off, easily, then use a micro-plane. Fast, tidy and no garlic on hands smell. One can also use the bang the cloves around in two inverted bowls, method as well. Video here:

                  Trust me, having a box of those disposable gloves in the kitchen is a wonderful aid, many uses.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Quine

                    +1 for grating garlic on a microplane

                    Yeah, two bowls really does work, but I tend to use the little silicon tube I bought instead. It's one of the few unitaskers that I own.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      Yes, they do work well. I lost mine and haven't found another. A glass jar works as well, instead of the bowls for a few cloves. But for ease and speedy clean up, the gloves, do it all for me. Plus, I use a jarred garlic paste (Brand SWAD, found in Indian groceries) for many applications, so a good win all around.

                      1. re: Quine

                        Years ago, I came into possession of a bunch of the rubber disks used to open jars...I'm still not sure where they all came from -- but I used those to peel garlic for years...at least those weren't unitaskers!

                        I wore them all out, and haven't been able to find more, so I bought the tube.

                  2. I have a little "garlic mandoline" that would make fast work of a job like that. It holds two cloves at a time (depending on clove size), & grates on one side; slices paper-thin on the other. My mom bought it for me back in the '70's & I use it constantly. It's absolutely priceless in my book.