Roasted Garlic

Roasted Garlic

Back in the summer of 1989 I had graduated from college and after a slight mishap with some carefully laid plans, I was catapulted back to my parents’ home for a few months. It was during that time I took refuge in my mother’s kitchen. In fact, there were weeks when I didn’t leave their house even to go to “town” to the local Whole Foods, ahem, I mean, Wal-Mart. And if you ever stepped foot in that town, you would certainly understand why. But that’s a story for a completely different blog which, as my favorite third-cousin-once-removed, Mary Myles Mathers McQuiddly, would have said in her thick drawl, “might could” be titled: “That Which Does Not Kill Us, Bore Us, Makes us Stronger” or “How I Got Out, Stayed Out and Am Never Going Back.” You get the idea.

Anyways, in that putrid summer of 400%+ humidity levels and temps hovering in the triple digits, I cooked to relieve stress, budding alcoholism and to fend off sinking into a pit of massive depression all while trying to figure out Plan B.

It was during that time, despite the oppressive heat, I discovered the joys of roasting whole heads of garlic. Fast forward now, gulp, nearly 30 years and I’m still making it, and thank Goddess not in my parents’ town. I make it whenever I can’t think of anything else to serve for an appetizer, or when I have vegans coming over, or when I need to eat massive amounts of garlic (And NO, I have no clue if roasted garlic is nearly as nutritional as raw garlic, so all you haters just go find someone else to pick on), or when I want to round out a night of just eating what we refer to as a “Mezze Dinner,” or quite simply when I just want to nibble on a loaf of crusty French bread with olive oil, roasted garlic, whilst enjoying a bottle of wine.

Print Recipe
Roasted Garlic
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 20-30 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
  • 2 heads garlic Slough off as much of the papery skins, but don't actually peel the garlic (check out the pic above). And if you got it straight from your garden or a farmers' market, you might be sure it doesn't have a lot dirt on the bottom.
  • 1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil I always use a lot of olive oil because even if we don't sop up all the olive oil when we serve the garlic, it's great to use for days after.
  • Hearty Pinches of high quality salt We always use Redmond Ancient Sea Salt
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 20-30 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
  • 2 heads garlic Slough off as much of the papery skins, but don't actually peel the garlic (check out the pic above). And if you got it straight from your garden or a farmers' market, you might be sure it doesn't have a lot dirt on the bottom.
  • 1/4-1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil I always use a lot of olive oil because even if we don't sop up all the olive oil when we serve the garlic, it's great to use for days after.
  • Hearty Pinches of high quality salt We always use Redmond Ancient Sea Salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat, or don't (it really doesn't matter), your oven to 375.
  2. Put heads of garlic in an ovenproof dish. I like to use little ramekins or a small Le Creuset dish. One I time I made ten heads of garlic at once and nestled them all together in an 8x8 pan (think classic American brownie Pyrex dish).
  3. Pour olive oil over garlic. Sprinkle salt on top.
  4. Cover tightly with tinfoil.
  5. Bake for about 20-30 minutes. After about 20 minutes you will start to smell the garlic, and while tempted, stand your ground and wait. If patient, you will be rewarded with the most succulent garlic "meat" that you can squish out of each papery compartment onto a lovely piece of bread...
  6. Serve warm or room temperature. And if you can't eat it all in one night, wrap up and put in the fridge. The garlic will be good for a few days, and the garlic-infused olive oil will last for weeks, but do keep it refrigerated especially in warmer temps it can still breed bacteria because of the introduction of the garlic.
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