Touted for centuries to heal illness and ward off vampires, garlic is also the starring ingredient in kitchens everywhere. On April 19, invite garlic as the guest of honor, to your home buffet, in celebration of Garlic Day.
Mince raw garlic into mayonnaise with saffron, lemon juice and a hint of cayenne pepper for a zesty aïoli. Roast garlic cloves with eggplant and red peppers, then process the result with tahini, lemon juice and parsley for a heavenly hummus.
This is not the day to be subtle about serving up garlic. Other dishes that highlight its sweetly pungent nuances include angel hair pasta tossed with garlic, olive oil and parsley, or roasted garlic soup served with a crusty bread that oozes the perfect pairing of butter and garlic.
When preparing your celebratory buffet, consider reaching far and wide to include dishes from ethnic cuisines that have long worshipped the garlic clove. No matter what you choose to prepare, the general culinary caveat remains consistent. Multiply the number of cloves called for in the recipe by the number of guests, and add one additional clove per person for good luck.
For a decorative swag, festoon whole lengths of garlic heads around the buffet table. Pack party gift bags with toothbrushes and toothpaste. The aromas should repel vampires, not the single friends for whom you’ve sneakily orchestrated last minute pairings. If your Garlic Day party concludes after dark, send your guests off with some of that garlicky garland, just in case.