A supremely savory vegetable stock that only needs one ingredient. And yes, that ingredient is garlic—two whole heads of it. When simmered with water and seasoned with salt, this extrovert ingredient goes from razor sharp to buttery smooth, a lot like caramelized onions. The result is oh-so soothing, with pools of savory depth. Use it anywhere a recipe calls for vegetable (or even chicken) broth. Or, as I do, slurp it straight from a mug. Some tips for how to peel the garlic without losing your mind: Lightly smoosh each clove with the side of a knife, then dump them in a bowl of warm water and peel there. Or, as an old coworker used to do, add the unpeeled cloves to a tightly lidded container and shake the living daylights out of it until the cloves spring out of their skins. (In a pinch, you can opt for pre-peeled cloves, though their flavor is less outspoken.) —Emma Laperruque
Test Kitchen Notes
Adapted with permission fromBig Little Recipesby Emma Laperruque, published by Ten Speed Press, 2021. —The Editors
Peel the garlic and roughly chop the cloves. Combine with 12 cups of water in a stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a confident simmer and cook for 1 hour or so, until the liquid has reduced to about 8 cups. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl. Use a spoon to mash the softened garlic through the sieve, enriching the broth (I incorporate almost all of it, but it’s your broth). Season with kosher salt to taste (1½ to 2 teaspoons for me).
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.