Kitchen basics – how to roast garlic

FinalGarlicI live about 30 minutes north from the garlic capital: Gilroy, California. Each year on (what seems to be) the hottest weekend of the summer, people make the trek to Gilroy to enjoy all things garlic.

I can’t wait until summer. I love garlic on just about anything.

Perfectly roasted garlic is soft, sweet, nutty, caramely and encompasses everything we love about garlic, without the sharp burning after taste. It’s easy to create a jar of roasted garlic cloves at home. Let me show you.

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Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil, and line two small ramekins, oven safe bowls, or whatever you have on hand…just make sure it’s an oven safe vessel of some sort, big enough to hold four heads of garlic.

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Fill the ramekins 2/3 full with vegetable oil, canola oil, or any neutral-flavored oil you have on hand.

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Slice the upper 1/4 portion of the garlic heads off. Save the upper portion in the freezer for the next time you make stock!

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Lay the garlic heads cut side down in the oil.

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Wrap up the packets, and roast in the oven for 45-50 minutes, until golden brown and soft.

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Yum. Now let everything cool for 15 minutes, or until the heads of garlic are cool enough to touch.

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Squeeze everything out using tongs or your fingers, making sure not to drop any garlic skin/paper into your preferred jar or container. Work over the foil-lined sheet to make cleanup a breeze.

You can also toss these spent garlic head papers into the freezer for stock.

Note-I chose a glass jar because plastic tends to hang onto the garlicky scent.

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Add the remaining oil from the foil packets. If you wish, add additional oil to cover everything. The oil will continue to pick up flavor from the garlic cloves.

This should keep well in the fridge for about 5 days, although I’m not sure I ever make it that long when I have this on hand!

Today, I added my garlic and oil directly into my pasta. This jar of deliciousness can be used to create garlic mayonnaise for sandwiches, added to dips, combined with butter to top grilled meats or fish, spread directly onto crusty bread, or added to stews such as my white bean stew-featured in yesterday’s post.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy garlic?

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