Garlic requires little time to saute, a process which is easy and the most preferred cooking method for garlic. It is also easy to overcook, resulting in a bitter flavor. The key to delicious sauteed garlic is to purchase quality garlic and store it in a dark, dry, cool area away from the stove until you are ready to use it.
Separate the number of cloves your recipe calls for. Use the palm of your hand to hit the clove with the flat side of your knife. This method will crush the clove enough to break through the thin skin around the clove. Peel the skin and remove all green sprouts from the center of the garlic that can cause bitterness.
Chop the garlic on a cutting board. Add the salt required in your recipe. Sprinkle it directly onto the chopped garlic. Press the side of the knife into the garlic. With your hand on the knife, press the salt into the garlic until the garlic and salt are evenly distributed.
Select a skillet with a heavy bottom to ensure even heat distribution. Heat the butter over medium heat.
Add the garlic to the melted butter. Stir it constantly with a wooden slotted spoon to prevent burning. Cook for a maximum of 30 seconds. Spoon it out of the pan and into another container away from the heat immediately. It can then be added to the recipe for serving or baking.
If your recipe calls for other vegetables to be sauteed, saute the other vegetables first, as the garlic will overcook before the other vegetables are fully cooked.
Do not wait for garlic to brown when it is sauteed. Unlike some vegetables, If the garlic has browned, it is overcooked.
As a former elementary school teacher, Cheryl Starr now writes full-time from Missouri. Her work has appeared in various magazines, including "Teachers of Vision," "Insight" and "Highlights." She is currently writing a novel and a devotional book. Starr studied elementary education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.