A few weeks ago one of our long-time-farm-customers turned friends gifted me a bag of single clove black garlic she’d brought back from a recent trip to Japan. I’d been contemplating how I wanted to use them, reading up on how chefs around the world have been using black garlic and what other foodies have to say about it. This combination was purely accidental. I had a slightly overripe pineapple that needed to be used up and I went to the cabinet for a head of regular garlic to toss together a salsa. The black garlic just happened to be in front of the regular on the shelf. I remembered some of the flavor profiles I’d read on it and decided to substitute it instead; a decision, it turns out, that would disappoint exactly no one in this house.
The black garlic is everything I’d read about it and more. Smooth, pungent, sweet, earthy, charred… umami. The single clove variety is supposed to have even better flavor than the multi-clove type, but both are reportedly delicious. Essentially, it’s fermented garlic. Held at sixty degrees for months, under just-so humidity. But “fermented garlic” doesn’t do it justice. A lot of chefs are using it in savory and creamy dishes, but I think it really shines against the bright acidity of the pineapple and lime. You can definitely expect more black garlic recipes to come. I can see it becoming a staple ingredient here.
This recipe makes about a quart and a half and we’ve been eating it with everything — carnitas, blackened chicken, plain tortilla chips — I just happened to think about putting the recipe up here at breakfast this morning when I was serving it wrapped up with the best damned eggs you’ll ever eat in a perfectly charred corn tortilla.
- 1 Ripe Pineapple
- 2 Med. Roma Tomatoes
- 1 Sweet Onion
- 1 Head Single Clove Black Garlic
- 1 Sm. - Med. Bunch Cilantro
- Coarse Sea Salt
- Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Lime
- Butter, Lard or Oil
- Corn Tortillas
- Large Eggs
- Coarse Sea Salt
- Finely dice pineapple, tomatoes and onion.
- Peel and finely chop black garlic, being careful not to smash it.
- Remove Cilantro stems, chop leaves.
- Combine all of the above in a bowl or large jar, squeeze juice of the lime overtop. Add salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Mix well. Chill. (Best after flavors have had a few hours to a day to intermingle.)
- In a large fry or cast iron pan, heat your cooking fat -- a couple pats of butter or lard, or a couple "glugs" of your favorite oil -- until a few drops of water flicked into the pan makes the oil crackle and pop.
- Add your tortillas, frying on each side for a minute or so, until they begin to brown and crisp. Transfer them to a plate.
- Immediately, using the same hot oil, crack your eggs into the pan. The oil and pan should be so hot that the whites immediately solidify when they hit the pan. Sprinkle the top of the egg with coarse salt while it cooks. It is ready to turn when it naturally pulls way from the pan without prying. This only takes a minute or two, the whites will be browned and crispy around the edges. Flip, repeating the process of browning and crisping the whites on the other side, cooking just a thin layer over the yolk, but leaving it runny.
- Transfer the eggs to the plate, placing one on top of each tortilla. Top with pineapple salsa and enjoy!