Friday, November 26, 2010

Roasted Garlic

I'm not particularly a fan of shopping, and I'm really not a fan of shopping on the day after Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve. I would not choose to be out at all, but I KNOW from experience I totally prefer to be behind a store counter than in front of it! Somehow it seems safer...

I hate crowds and traffic, and "deals" really aren't much of a draw for me. It's certainly not a good time and I just don't want to play that game. Ugh.

I had to run to the grocery store the day before Thanksgiving just like millions of other people, and it always surprises me when displays look sparse, or they run out of things. I dodged elderly, yet determined women with their shopping carts and was reminded of how much I really prefer empty stores.

After the Thanksgiving feasting, it's nice to have a little something more simple... things that don't take a lot of work or much "hands-on" time.
Some people may balk at the idea of eating whole cloves of garlic. Maybe they feel it's not socially responsible?

Anyway, when garlic cloves are cooked whole they're caramelized, much more delicate, subdued, and sweet than when they're minced. You get more intense garlic flavor when more of the cells in a clove of garlic are broken down. The more oils and juices that are released, the stronger the flavor.

I have an extreme preference for fresh garlic when cooking. I don't like it very much when it's pre-chopped or pickled and jarred.

When choosing garlic, make sure it's fresh. You want to pick out bulbs with cloves that are tight, and you want to make sure the papery skin is also fairly tight on the bulb (of course, being papery, it will come off to some extent). Store it in a cool, dry place, but make sure the garlic has space and air circulation.

This is a really simple recipe that can be used spread on crackers or crostini sprinkled with a little salt and pepper and fresh herbs, on pasta, eaten with apples and cheese, mixed with softened butter or mayonnaise, spread on a sandwich, kneaded into bread dough, or mixed into soups or mashed potatoes for a little extra flavor.

If all else fails, you can just make sure to keep strong breath mints handy.
And please be nice to salespeople.

Roasted Garlic

3-6 bulbs of garlic
about 1/4 c olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut off the tops of the garlic bulbs so that each clove is exposed. Place the garlic on a piece of tin foil and pour about a teaspoon of olive oil over each bulb. Let the olive oil soak into and between the cloves of garlic a couple minutes. Drizzle more olive oil over the bulbs of garlic, place another piece of foil over the garlic, and crimp edges of the foil together so that the package is airtight. Put the foil package on a pan or oven-safe dish and place it in the oven for 50 minutes to an hour. Let cool a little then open the foil package. When you are able to handle the bulbs of garlic safely, scoop or squeeze the cloves of garlic out of the papery skin and use as desired.
Roasted garlic should keep a few days refrigerated in an airtight container.


  1. This is really something different!
    Who'd a' thunk it?

  2. This is very interesting -I've heard of baking garlic before but never tried it...I think I am ready now after reading this!

  3. So, the garlic becomes soft enough to spread like butter? Neato!

  4. ooh. Going to the grocery and getting some. mmm.

    Hey, guess what's good eating at my house? Quinoa with a small drizzle of pumpkin seed oil and a pinch of salt. mmm.