As if garlic lovers needed another excuse to indulge: When garlic is pickled, its flavor mellows, becoming slightly sweet and tangy -- yet it remains very garlicky. In Russia, these pickled bulbs often appear on hors d'oeuvres trays or in open-air markets. The pickling process is quick -- after sitting just one night, the cloves are ready to be popped from their skins and tossed in salads, spread on bread, or eaten as is.
- 6 heads garlic
- 4 cups white-wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 small dried chile peppers
- 1 dried bay leaf
- Rind of 1 lemon
Trim garlic heads, leaving stem intact and peeling off all but one layer of papery skin. Set aside.
Combine vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, cloves, peppers, bay leaf, and lemon rind in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; boil 2 minutes more. Add garlic; boil 4 minutes. Remove from heat; cover, and let sit overnight in refrigerator. Garlic may be canned, placed in a sterilized jar, or stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container up to 1 month.