black garlic caprese salad l

black garlic caprese salad – deep, dark and lingering

by Michelle


black garlic caprese salad l

I’ve mentioned to you several times that I can’t resist a new food thing to play with. It’s happened again. I was flying through the produce section at my local grocery store when, from my peripheral vision, I caught sight of something that didn’t compute. The tires on my grocery cart screeched to a halt in front of an ugly, black blob that looked like rotten garlic. Ha! It was rotten garlic or, more precisely, fermented garlic. I had no idea what to do with it, yet into my cart it went. After a bit of investigating on the world-wide web – I love Mr. Google – I discovered that FERMENTED BLACK GARLIC, is used traditionally in Korean cooking. By all accounts the flavour is supposed to be off the charts so I had a taste. Because the garlic is dried whole the outside papery skin is really fragile letting the dark, sticky bulbs slip out easily. I sliced off a tiny sliver and popped it into my mouth. The flavour is deep, dark and lingering. The overtone has a hint of dark chocolate with just the right amount of caramel for balance. It made me drool a little. You could easily use black garlic in vinaigrettes or sauces, but I wanted to let it take centre stage. I made a simple Caprese salad, switched out fresh basil leaves with a basil puree and painstakingly dotted the whole thing with bits of minced black garlic. The garlic is really dense and sticky which made it tedious to get off my knife, but so worth the icky fingers.

black garlic caprese salad l



  • 1 cup  lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 340 g fresh mozzarella or fior di latte ball
  • 2 cups of sliced heirloom tomatoes
  • 3 black garlic bulbs, minced or sliced


  1. In food processor or blender, puree the basil with the oil until smooth. You can make this ahead and refrigerate it in airtight containerfor up to 4 hours; shake before using

  2. Cut mozzarella into 1/4-inch thick slices.

  3. On large serving platter, make one layer of cheese slices.

  4. Scatter sliced tomatoes over cheese, drizzle with basil puree and sprinkle with black garlic bits.

  5. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 3 hours.

THE LOVE: You’ll note that there is no salt in my recipe. I prefer to top dress my salad with Maldon sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper. Make sure you tell your guests to do the same.

black garlic caprese salad l


Thanks for reading.