Caramelized Garlic Cloves with Orange and Mint makes a great condiment for lean protein such as chicken or pork but it works equally well with grilled vegetables or even as a topper for toast.
- 1 orange
- 5 ounce whole, peeled garlic cloves (about 1 cup)
- water (as needed)
- 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- ½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Use a peeler to shave off wide strips of the orange skin, avoiding the white pith. Save the orange for another use and cut the orange strips crosswise into thin julienne. Set aside.
Bring a small pan of water to a boil, add the garlic cloves, and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and repeat the boiling and blanching process once more with fresh water. Drain and dry the cloves.
Heat the olive oil into a 10-inch non-stick or cast iron skillet. Add the blanched garlic cloves and fry on medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 3 or 4 minutes until uniformly caramelized to a nice golden color. Remove from heat for a minute or two and then add sugar, vinegar, ½‑cup water, and salt. Be careful as it may splatter.
Return the mixture the stove and allow it to come to a boil then lower the heat to medium and simmer, stirring often, until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and immediately stir in the crushed red pepper flakes, mint, lemon juice, and orange strips. Serve warm or at room temperature.