Garlic Obsession: Roasted Garlic

Growing garlic

| April/May 2004

Makes 2 bulbs of roasted garlic

Roasted garlic can be used in many dishes, but we like it best warm, squeezed from its skin and smeared onto bread with some of its roasting oil. You can use less oil for roasting if you like. Roasted garlic is wonderful in soups, vinaigrettes and sauces, and it makes the world’s best mashed potatoes. It can be combined with cream to make a delicious sauce for vegetables, pasta and fish. Slow roasting makes garlic lose most of its heat and turn nutty and sweet, with a pleasant, mild garlic flavor. We always roast a few heads at a time, since we use it quite liberally. Although we like garlic best the day it is roasted, leftover cloves can be squeezed into a small dish and covered with olive oil — then tightly covered and stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
2 garlic bulbs
About 13 cup olive oil
2 or 3 thyme sprigs, a bay leaf, a few sage leaves or a sprig of rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Remove the outer papery skins of the garlic bulbs and break into cloves; leave the inner skins on the cloves. Place the garlic in a small oven-proof dish and add the olive oil and herbs of choice; then season lightly with salt and pepper.

Cover the dish with foil. Bake the garlic until it is very tender. Check it in about 30 to 35 minutes; it will take 45 minutes to 1 hour to roast this many cloves. Test for doneness by squeezing a clove or two — they should be soft and golden. Remove from oven and let sit until cool enough to handle.


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