Makes 2 bulbs of roasted garlic
Roasted garlic has many uses, but it’s at its very best warm, squeezed from its skin, and smeared on good bread with a little of its roasting oil. It’s wonderful in soups, vinaigrettes, and sauces, and makes the world’s best mashed potatoes. Slow roasting makes garlic lose most of its heat and turn nutty and sweet with a pleasant, mild flavor.
2 garlic bulbs
1/3 cup olive oil
3 thyme sprigs, a bay leaf, a few sage leaves, or a sprig of rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 325° F. Remove the outer papery skins of the garlic. Slice a half inch off the stem end to expose the tops of the cloves.
2. Place each bulb of garlic cut side up on a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and add herbs if desired. Pull the sides of the foil up around the garlic and secure tightly.
3. Bake garlic until it’s very tender, checking after about 30 minutes. Total baking time will be 40 to 50 minutes. Test for doneness by squeezing a clove or two—they should be soft and golden. Remove from the oven and let the garlic cool a bit until it is not too hot to handle.