Roasting garlic turns it a soft, mellow delicacy with a delightful flavor that is sweet and rich at the same time. It's a great addition to soups and stews, hummus, pizza and salad dressing, as well as smeared on crackers or toast with a good, salty cheese.
This is one of those things that seems like it should be hard to make but is actually ridiculously easy - all you need is a head of garlic, a sheet of tinfoil and a little olive oil. And an oven, of course...
Here's what you do. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Get out your cutting board and a whole head of garlic.
Slice a thin layer off the bottom of the head - right next to the basal plate - to expose the bottoms of the cloves.
Get out a sheet of tinfoil. Drizzle a little organic olive oil over the cut end of the garlic.
Wrap the head of garlic up in the foil - it will look like a lumpy little silver ball. Place your foil-wrapped garlic in the oven - I usually put it on a baking sheet just in case of any leakage - and roast it for 45 minutes.
During this time, the most delicious smell will pervade every corner of your home. I think this smell would probably make me hungry even if I'd just pushed back from the table at a three-course meal. Take a peek into that little foil ball to see how things are going -- you want to roast it until the cloves have gotten all soft and melty. It will be a thing of beauty!
You can then very easily just squeeze the cloves right out of their papery little wrappers to use however you see fit. If I'm not going to use them all in one fell swoop, I just wrap whatever I'm not using then back up in its tinfoil wrapper and store it in the fridge for several days (if it lasts that long without you eating it, that is.) I've also heard that you can remove the cloves, cover them in olive oil and store them in a clean, airtight glass container in the refrigerator for several months but I have not actually done this (I always end up using it all up too quickly) so I cannot vouch for how long it stays good for.
A quick aside for those of you who garden or who would like to start, it's almost time to plant your garlic! Start it in the fall to help it get established so it comes roaring back come springtime. Check out my short primer on growing your own garlic for more info.
You might also like:
- How to Grow Your Own Garlic
- Garlic Scape Pesto
- Lemon Aioli With Roasted Beets, Perfect Oven Fries & Steamed Asparagus
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