Blanching unpeeled cloves of garlic gives them a sweet, nutlike flavor that is mild and unexpectedly refined.
2 heads garlic
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
Leaves of Boston lettuce
4 medium tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1. Separate the garlic into cloves and then drop them into a large pot of boiling, salted water. Cook, uncovered, at a gentle bubble for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender when pierced. Drain in a colander and set aside to cool.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the oil and stir in the basil.
3. When cool enough to handle, pinch an end of each garlic clove to force the flesh to slide out of its parchment skin. Place the cooked garlic in a small bowl and pour on the prepared dressing. Toss to coat, then refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
4. Just before serving, line 4 salad plates with lettuce leaves. Arrange the tomato slices over the lettuce. Scatter the garlic over the tomatoes in an attractive manner, then whisk the dressing that remains in the bowl and pour some over each salad.