Here at Cooking Light, we're always happy to celebrate a day dedicated to an essential cooking ingredient. Being National Garlic Day and all, we've rounded up a little garlic trivia and information on how to grow, choose, store, and use this pungent veggie.

Did you know?

  • Garlic is native to central Asia and found its roots as a staple part of Mediterranean diets.
  • Harvested in the spring and summer, garlic also stores well, so you should be able to find it year-round.
  • This vegetable is dubbed as the "stinking rose" for its unforgettable aroma and lingering taste.
  • Garlic remains fresh for months, with an even longer life-span when stored in the refrigerator.
  • Easy to grow, garlic rewards beginners with an abundant crop.
  • Garlic has long-since been recognized for its medicinal properties. The bulbs contain a wide assortment of health-promoting antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.

Adam Hickman, one of our Cooking Light Test Kitchen Recipe Testers and Developers, knows the power of a clove of garlic. "Garlic is a really great flavor builder; it adds structure and depth to a dish without it becoming too overpowering," he explained. "Garlic also has its downside in that it burns quickly and needs to be added at the right time. Done well, lots of garlic in a dish can be really delicious."

A true gem to cook with, our collection of garlic recipes showcases the variety and levels of flavor that this summer produce has to offer. Used in every way from a garnish for soups to a seasoning for irresistible French fries, garlic can also serve as a base for an undeniably rich chicken recipe. The infamous Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic is simple and satisfying at its best. In this dish, the garlic softens in flavor as it roasts and is easy to spread over the baguette slices for a strong, sensational, and welcome flavor-overload.

At only 4 calories per clove, what's not to love about this warm-weather veggie? So whip up your favorite garlic-inspired recipe this evening and join in as we celebrate the full flavor of National Garlic Day!