The New-to-Me Ingredient That Tastes Like Magic on Salads

updated Jan 24, 2021
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Credit: Lauren Masur

One lesson I learned way too late in life is to always season your salads. If you refuse to eat lettuce in salad form, it’s probably because you’re not doing this. Of course classic salt and pepper is always a move; or as fans of Olive Garden’s unlimited soup, salad, and breadsticks know, that magical mix of Italian spices is also a good option. But recently I came upon a different, Heaven-sent seasoning that instantly upgrades any salad: Garlic Gold Toasted Garlic Nuggets.

Credit: Lauren Masur

Buy: Garlic Gold Toasted Garlic Nuggets, $7.95 for 2.1 ounces

In a Kitchn team meeting all about garlic (yes, this is a dream job), our Managing Editor, Lauren Kodiak, brought these to my attention and I immediately ordered a bottle for myself. These little crystals of toasted garlic are exactly what they sound like: “Organic garlic hand chopped and toasted to crunchy perfection in organic extra virgin olive oil. That’s all!,” as the package states.

According to the label, this stuff is recommended as “a gourmet topping for salads, pizza, sushi, baked and mashed potatoes, and pasta.” Before trying any of the suggestions, I ate a few right out of the palm of my hand. My best attempts at a description is that it tasted like the dredges of the Everything Bagel Seasoning jar, when the granulated garlic gets stuck at the bottom without the poppy and sesame seeds.

To try them as a flavor enhancer, I went with salad, the first item on the list. I don’t usually take pictures of my salads, but when I use Garlic Gold Toasted Garlic Nuggets, I do.

Credit: Lauren Masur

If you like analogies, stick with me: Garlic Gold Toasted Garlic Nuggets are to salads as sprinkles are to cupcakes. Neither are absolutely essential to the ingestion of the final product, but both undeniably enhance the vehicle upon which they rest with a pleasant crunch and an extra somethin’ somethin’. I will no longer be eating salads without these little nuggets. And I can’t wait to try them on everything else that the bottle suggests.

Have you ever tried Garlic Gold Toasted Garlic Nuggets?