An innovative addition to any relish tray, pickled garlic can also be used to spice up many sauces and other recipes. It's made by soaking fresh, whole garlic cloves in vinegar for an extended period of time. Like other relishes, pickled garlic can be purchased ready-to-eat from many specialty stores. It comes in jars and can be found in a variety of flavors, such as spicy, mild, and habanero, as well as plain.
For those who are particularly adventurous in the kitchen, pickled garlic can also be made at home. Recipes vary depending on the specific tastes of the cook, but most follow the same basic structure. The preparation time is minimal, but the soaking of the garlic lengthens the project.
Cooks start by peeling as many whole garlic cloves as they want to pickle. Next, six parts white vinegar and one part white sugar are brought to a boil in a large saucepan. The garlic is boiled for five minutes, then poured with the liquid into jars. Other ingredients, such as dill, celery seed, or peppers, can be added during the boiling stage to give the garlic a different flavor.
Once the jars have been filled, the cook should seal them and store them in the refrigerator. In approximately three weeks, the garlic will be ready to eat. It can be enjoyed straight out of the jar, added to spaghetti sauce or tuna salad, or used as a garnish for salads.
Pickled garlic is not only a delicious treat for garlic lovers — like fresh garlic, it also has a variety of health benefits. Historically, garlic has been used to treat arthritis, freckles, and cancer. Today, it has been shown to contribute to cardiovascular health and to boost the immune system.