It’s getting closer and closer to October 31 and we just can’t resist making more Halloween-themed food. Our friends over at Frieda’s Specialty Produce sent us a bunch of spooky foods including rambutan and Buddha’s hand citron, but the black garlic was the most mysterious. Why is it black? What does it taste like? And how do you use it?
According to Frieda’s, black garlic is created by aging whole heads of natural garlic for a month in a special high-heat fermentation process. The aged garlic turns a rich black color with a soft, chewy texture and a mild, sweet-savory taste that might be classified as “umami” (the fifth taste – mostly present in savory and meaty foods). Some people think it tastes like molasses or balsamic vinegar; others find the taste closer to beef bouillon.
Black garlic is fun to cook with because it’s ready to eat – no roasting or sauteeing required. You can simply peel off the layers (they come apart very easily) or slice off the top and squeeze out the cloves individually.
To make this special Halloween hummus, we mashed up black garlic cloves and added a little olive oil to make it easily squeezable. Then we drizzled it over an orange-hued pumpkin hummus in a spider web pattern (extra bonus – this part is fun for kids!). Don’t count on that spider web lasting long, though. Once people get a bite of this fall-flavored hummus, they’ll be coming back for more.
Black Garlic Pumpkin Hummus
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained (or 1 1/2 cups cooked garbanzo beans)
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup plus 1 T. olive oil, divided
Juice of one large lemon
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 head black garlic, cloves peeled and separated
In a blender or food processor, combine the beans, tahini, 1/4 cup of olive oil, pumpkin, and salt and process until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add a balance of olive oil and lemon juice to thin it until it reaches a creamy consistency. Place the hummus in a medium serving bowl.
Place the garlic cloves in a medium-sized bowl and mash until they form a paste. Slowly add the 1 T. olive oil and continue to mash together until it has an even consistency. Whisk the mixture until it emulsifies. Add the mixture to a pastry bag with a very small opening. (Super quick option: Place the mixture in a small zip-log bag and cut a very small corner off the bag for squeezing.) Pipe the black garlic mixture into concentric circles on top of the hummus. Then take a knife and make slices through sections of the circle to form a spider web pattern. Serve immediately. Serves 6.
Blogger disclosure: Frieda’s sent us black garlic to sample, but we did not receive compensation for this post.