I'll confess, I meant to get this recipe to you before New Year's Eve. But in the crush of the holidays and illness, it did not happen and…well…Happy New Year? The good news is that New Year's Eve is not the only winter night to invite friends for dinner, and this easy appetizer is meant to share with friends.
This is a pretty old-school recipe at this point, given roasted garlic's heyday (perhaps even Kardashian-level overexposure?) around the turn of this century. I think it's fair to say that we all know that garlic becomes gorgeously sweet and spreadable when roasted; but add fresh herbs, tangy cheese and a splash of broth and you create a rich swiping sauce that elevates the whole to party food that stands the test of time.
Photo By Stephanie Meyer
I first copied this recipe from Bon Appetit magazine onto a recipe card as a newlywed party thrower and it quickly became a much-passed-around favorite. Forgive me the nostalgia of feeling like my mom, circa 1972, sharing her recipe for her creamy dried beef dip. Except that my mom had way cool hostess kimonos and I tend to entertain in jeans. (I definitely need a hostess kimono...)
You can roast the garlic ahead by a couple of hours and hold it at room temperature. Then, when your guests threaten imminent arrival, crumble on the cheese and set it in the oven to melt. You'll want to serve this warm, with good bread and a glass of bubbles.
Baked Garlic with Rosemary and Blue Cheese
Adapted from a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine.
Note: This recipe can be easily doubled. In fact, that’s how it was originally written. Rewarmed, leftover garlic is delicious on sandwiches or with scrambled eggs.
3 whole heads garlic
1 tablespoon cold butter, cut into three pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chicken broth, divided
2 tablespoons white wine
2 sprigs fresh rosemary (hold back a few leaves for garnish)
4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
freshly ground black pepper
crusty sliced bread, to serve
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Using a serrated knife, slice ½ inch off the top of each head of garlic (opposite the root), exposing the tops of the cloves. Remove a bit of the papery outer skin. For the most part, the heads will stay intact but if a few cloves fall away, that's fine. Set them all, cut side up, in a pie plate or small casserole dish.
3. Top garlic with butter slices. Drizzle oil over. Add 1 cup of broth and all the wine to dish, as well as rosemary sprigs.
4. Bake garlic until tender and golden brown, basting every 15 minutes with pan juices, adding more broth as necessary to maintain some juices in the dish, about 1 hour and 15 minutes (you might not use all 2 cups of chicken broth). Add cheese to dish and continue baking until cheese is melted, 10 minutes.
5. To serve, discard cooked rosemary sprigs. Sprinkle on the reserved rosemary leaves for garnish. Top with a few grinds of black pepper. To eat, press soft garlic cloves from skin, smearing onto slices of crusty bread with plenty of pan sauce. Makes 6 servings.
Stephanie Meyer is a home cook, writer, and photographer. Motivated by the belief that all good things come from preparing meals at home, Stephanie shares recipes, cooking tips and photographs on her accessible food blog, Fresh Tart; on TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine; and on Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures/Food & Wine Magazine. Stephanie is also the founder and organizer of Fortify: A Food Community, a group of Minnesota writers, photographers, growers and food industry professionals that celebrates food, hosts educational events and raises money for local charities.