There are few things I love more in life than garlic. Seriously, if a recipe calls for 2 cloves, I use at least 5. Garlic, like a good hand in poker, is something you double down on. Sure, I may smell a bit strong from time to time. But at least my food is super flavorful and I could ward off vampires in a vampire apocalypse. And in case you're curious about what I am doing right now, the answer is, yes, I am eating whole roasted garlic cloves on a variety of cured Italian meats. No need for crackers or cheese for this girl. The best thing about roasted garlic is that it is wildly simple to make. Tied for the-best-thing-about-roasted-garlic-is...its flavor. It is like a slightly more mild garlic flavor but with a sweet, caramelized feel to it. It can be used as a creamy spread. Or you can add it to dressings and dishes to infuse them with bold flavor. And if you're anything like me, you're not even remotely opposed to eating it virtually plain.
Sometimes when I go to Costco I will buy that obscenely large bag of peeled garlic. When it begins to reach the end of its shelf life, I will throw the remaining cloves into some foil, drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and roast them in my oven. The result is just as delicious as the whole roasted clove. Whether you're looking to use the roasted garlic as part of a recipe, or really step up your appetizer spread and antipasto game; this is one of those must have culinary skills. And seriously, it is so stinking easy. I almost feel guilty posting it on here. It isn't like I am the first person to roast a garlic clove. But hey, if I am gong to be your one stop shop for tasty treats then I should probably provide you with all the happenings of my kitchen. :)
2-4 (or more) garlic heads (a handful of already peeled cloves will follow virtually the same instructions)
1-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
1. Begin by peeling the "extra" layers off of the outermost part of the head. (If you're using already peeled cloves, begin at step 3.)
2. Using a sharp knife, cut off the "top" of the head. You are wanting the individual cloves to be exposed so that you can drizzle them with olive oil.
3. Take a piece of tin foil (large enough to fold in half, then form a pouch around the garlic) and put it on your cutting board.
4. Place the garlic cloves at the center of the foil.
6. Drizzle them with olive oil.
7. Lightly salt. This step is not necessary, but it enhances the garlic. And lets be honest, everything is better with a little salt on it.
8. Fold the foil around the garlic so that it seals and forms a pouch that is totally closed (and will not leak).
9. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for roughly 40 minutes. If you are doing only one clove, you may want to shorten this time. Feel free to carefully remove the packet and open it to take a peek. You are looking for the cloves to darken in color with some beautiful browning edges. Their consistency should be soft and spreadable. (You can probably tell by the crumply texture of my foil that I had checked on mine a few times.)
Serve as a spread or add to a recipe.