Storing Garlic

Properly stored garlic can easily last through the end of year holidays and beyond.  Commercial growers like Justin recommend storing garlic in the refrigerator in a closed paper bag.  But then, commercial growers have plenty of room for garlic in their big walk-in coolers.  If you have more garlic than can fit in your refrigerator, keep it in the same place as your onions…34 to 40 degrees and dark and dry.  Don’t put them in a plastic bag.  Garlic needs to breath and stay dry during storage.

Inspect Often

Keep an eye on your garlic and when inspecting it, be sure to not only look at but feel the bulbs.  They should feel dense and hard.  When they start drying out you can feel the cloves starting to shrink.  At that point you need to move into action to preserve the garlic.  There are a couple of options:

Freezing Garlic

I like keeping the cloves in tact as I feel it has the best chance of hanging onto the most flavor.  This article from suggests several ways to store garlic in the freezer, from dry packing the whole garlic bulb to storing it in olive oil and freezing.  While you may be tempted to store peeled garlic cloves in olive oil in the refrigerator, it can lead to deadly results.  I learned about this several years ago after packing several quarts of garlic cloves in olive oil.  What I didn’t know what I could have simply frozen those jars of garlic and avoided any possibility of botulism – a friend suggested that AFTER I had thrown away all of the garlic and expensive olive oil.

Make Some Toum (Garlic Paste)

This fluffy Lebanese garlic spread will keep in your ‘frige for 3 weeks and can be spread on meat, fish or vegetables before grilling.  Here are just a few ways you can use Toum.

  • Serve it with roasted or grilled chicken
  • Spread it on roasted or grilled vegetables
  • Pair it with French fries or potato wedges
  • Use it as a dip for pita bread
  • Slather it on sandwiches
  • Use it to make garlic bread
  • Mix it into salad dressings and marinades
  • Add a dollop to hummus or baba ghanoush
  • Swirl it into soups


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