Stinking Rose Day

April 19th is National Garlic Day. Yes, another one of those obscure food holidays. This one should remind you to incorporate garlic into your cooking whenever you can.

Garlic, known fondly as “the stinking rose” is part of the lily family together with onions, chives and scallions. Garlic is the only food that can actually kill bacteria and at the same time protect the body from the poisons that are causing the infection.

Garlic has been known to lower cholesterol and even fight cancer. Medical research studies have shown a marked effect on cholesterol levels when eating garlic daily for a number of weeks. Other studies show us that regular consumption of garlic lowers blood pressure as well.

Garlic has also been shown to increase the birth weight of babies when taken on a regular basis by their mothers. Before the advent of antibiotics, garlic was used to treat wounds and infections on battlefields. It has been shown to be effective against such life threatening diseases as tuberculosis and asthma.

While the accolades for garlic’s medicinal powers are impressive, we love garlic because it adds flavor to foods like no other single ingredient. Adding some crushed garlic to your salad dressing, marinades and soups will make them sing.

The easiest way to crush garlic is with a quality garlic press. Better presses allow you to crush the cloves without peeling them. Just put the clove into the press and squeeze. The flesh will come out through the holes while the skin stays inside. Then remove the skin with the tip of your knife.

We’ve got some delicious garlicky recipes for you to try.


Garlic Oregano Knots

You can easily make this pizza shop classic at home for dinner tonight!

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter plus more for baking sheet
  • 1 pound store-bought pizza dough, at room temperature for 30 minutes
  • flour for dusting
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Lightly butter a baking sheet.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch square. Cut dough in half. Cut each half crosswise into 1-inch-thick strips (for 24 strips total). Tie each strip into a knot, gently stretching dough as needed. Place on prepared sheet. Loosely cover with plastic wrap; let rise in a warm place until slightly puffed, 1-1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°. Bake knots until cooked through and golden, 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup butter with garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer garlic butter to a large bowl; stir in oregano.

Place warm bread knots in bowl with garlic butter; toss until well coated. Transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with flaky salt.


Rosemary Garlic Chicken

Looking for new flavors for your basic roast chicken? Look no further than this well-seasoned dish!

  • 4 chicken bottoms
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 sprigs rosemary or 2 tablespoons dried
  • 2 heads of garlic, cut in half crosswise
  • 2 bunches red scallions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 350. Place rosemary, garlic, and 1 bunch of scallions in a roasting pan.

Place chicken, skin side up, on top of aromatics. Roast, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, 40-45 minutes.

Brush chicken with 1 Tbsp. oil and turn on broiler. Broil 5-10 minutes or until skin chars. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before serving.


Garlicky Chickpeas

  • Ramp up canned chickpeas with this quick recipe!
  • 2 15-oz. cans chickpeas (rinsed)
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup light olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook chickpeas with garlic and crushed red pepper in oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until garlic is golden and chickpeas begin to blister, 6–8 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Readers may submit questions to the Culinary Connoisseur, c/o Hamodia, 207 Foster Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11230 or via e-mail to This weekly column has been brought to you by The Peppermill, the world’s first kosher kitchenware store, located at 5015 16th Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. (718) 871-4022. You can also read a selection of previous columns in their comprehensive cookbook, The Culinary Connoisseur, available now at your local Judaica and kitchenware stores. Jam-packed with delicious recipes, insightful food information and helpful cooking tips, this book is certain to become your constant companion in the kitchen.