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How to Devein Garlic

Buongiorno and welcome to Lisa’s Italian Kitchen. Today we’re going to discuss how to devein garlic.

So, the first thing to do is select a good head or bulb of garlic. This is your head or bulb of garlic and each bulb of garlic is made up of a number of individual cloves of garlic. Now when you’re selecting a head of garlic there are a few things to look for. First of all you want it to be nice and white, the brighter white the better. That means it’s fresh. So you don’t want any yellow or any brown. You also want the individual cloves of garlic to be nice and tight.

So if they’ve begun to separate that probably indicates that the garlic is a little old. This would be something that you would not want to purchase of a head of garlic. You see how the cloves are already protruding, there’s some brown, some exposed clove of garlic. This garlic clove is probably a little old and so it would be a bulb that you wouldn’t want to purchase.

So after you’ve selected your clove your bulb of garlic made up of the individual cloves, we want to devein each clove of garlic that you’re going to use. Now, why do we do that? Well, you know garlic is a wonderful, wonderful vegetable, but it does have for some people some negative side effects.

All of the negative side effects that are found in garlic can actually be attributed to the vein of each individual clove. So let me show you what the vein looks like before you slice into the clove of garlic. It’s that center spot of green.

Many people don’t even know that each clove of garlic has a vein and that this is where the intense taste of the garlic is. So what we’re going to do is, I just like to slice it in half, very simple, with the edge of my paring knife. I just lift up, look how easily that vein lifts right up, with your fingers you can just take it out, discard it.

And then you proceed to either slice your garlic clove or chop your garlic clove. Whichever you like, whichever you prefer according to your recipe. Remember another little technique that some people don’t know is that if in fact you slice the clove of garlic lengthwise, like this, the taste of the garlic in your dish, in your recipe will actually be stronger than if you chop the garlic and put it in your recipe.

So, of course it’s according to what your recipe calls for, but that’s the easiest way to devein a clove of garlic, eliminating any negative side effect of garlic and being able to take advantage of the wonderful taste and flavor of garlic and the nutritional value.

So another wonderful easy Italian cooking technique from Lisa Italian Kitchen.

Ciao, a presto!



  • Lisa Caponigri

    Lisa Caponigri is the author of This is Sunday Dinner and Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner?, published by Sterling Epicure. Both of Lisa's cookbooks brim with her memories of living in Italy, both as a child and as an adult raising her own family, anecdotes about her family, regional and seasonal Italian specialties, and all the advice needed to get a spectacular Sunday Dinner on the table, every Sunday of the year. She has developed a line of prepared foods and sauces called Lisa’s Italian Kitchen. Lisa debuted on HSN and has appeared on QVC. She has also appeared on a variety of television programs, including Seattle's New Day Northwest, Good Morning Toronto, Chicago's WGNLunchbreak, and New England Cooks, to name a few. Lisa is frequently consulted as an expert in Italian lifestyle and food. Lisa Caponigri lives in South Bend, IN and travels frequently to Italy to research the latest in "la dolce vita". Visit to learn more about Lisa!

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