Quick n’ easy recipe today! This probably comes as a surprise to nobody, but I initially bought black garlic as an impulse buy. Thankfully, I had an out-of-town visitor who happens to be an amazing cook, and after we sampled the black garlic on its own, he offered to make it into a black garlic vinaigrette.
When my friend presented his stunning dressing to me, I immediately became a fan of this unique ingredient. We enjoyed it with just some fresh salad greens that day, but over the course of that week I also slathered it on my avocado toast and roasted vegetables.
At that time I had no idea how black garlic was even made, harboring the common misconception that it’s a fermented food. I later learned that black garlic is prepared by very, very slowly (multiple days) cooking garlic at a super low temperature. This causes garlic’s natural sugars to break down and caramelize, producing a deep, savory, malty flavor.
Months later I finally saw black garlic at the store again so I set out to recreate those flavors, and here we are. A beautiful dark purplish-brown-hued dressing with robust, complex flavor. It’s only a few ingredients more than a classic balsamic vinaigrette but it tastes absolutely special.
Aside from the black garlic itself, all of these ingredients here are pretty usual. This black garlic dressing uses a lot more oil than I would typically. I’m sure that a creamy cashew based version could also be delicious here, but I was looking for that silky olive oil texture this time around.
My favorite way to use this black garlic salad dressing is on my winter vegetable barley bowls!
Black Garlic Vinaigrette
A punchy vinaigrette featuring the sweet and malty flavor of black garlic.
In a blender or food processor, combine the black garlic, fresh garlic, and shallot, and blend as finely as possible. Add the red wine vinegar, mustard, and agave nectar, and again blend to combine.
Add olive oil in a steady stream, blending until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste (this will need plenty of salt), and add more oil if needed to reach the desired texture. After adding additional oil, check the seasoning one more time for salt, pepper, and acid.
Enjoy right away, or store in the fridge for up to a week or more. The mustard and black garlic help this dressing emulsify quite well, but if needed, shake/stir the dressing again before serving.
LOWER-FAT VERSION: I have it on good authority that you can substitute part of the olive oil with aquafaba (the cooking liquid from chickpeas or other beans) to make a lower-fat dressing.
NUTRITON: Serving size is approximate. Calories per tablespoon depend on the final amount of oil, vinegar, etc. used.
WHERE TO FIND BLACK GARLIC: Sometimes you just have to get lucky! Trader Joe's has been known to sell it at times. Other natural/specialty grocers tend to carry it seasonally. I've linked to black garlic on Amazon above, but note that the price online is WAY WAY higher (~$15 or more) than what I paid in the store (~$4).
Shoutout to Wikipedia for explaining to me what black garlic really is!
Other recipes from the blog that highlight garlic:
Other delicious salad dressings: