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I love garlic. Disguised within such a small, unassuming nub sits medicinal and culinary benefits dating back 4000 years. No other herb has more folklore and scientific research attached to it than garlic. The Egyptians revered garlic so much that they used it as currency. In Ancient Greece, it was left out as offerings to the gods. Their military and Olympians ate garlic before battle and races to improve performance. The healing powers of this natural wonder drug range from preventing cancer, to boosting the immune system, to acting as a powerful aphrodisiac, to repelling vampires.

Growing up in a household with Chinese and Vietnamese heritage meant many meals involving garlic and it’s faithful sidekick, ginger. Not until I was an adult did I begin to understand that garlic could stand on its own. And in such a magnificent way! Forget the healing powers, when an entire head of garlic is slowly roasted, it transforms itself into such buttery, nutty sweet goodness that even ardent garlic naysayers will be converted. Perfect to spread on crostinis, stir into mashed potatoes, soups or pasta. Though, for me, the most simple and delicious way to serve this special treat is with a fresh baguette and your favorite French brie.

whole-roasted-garlic

Whole Roasted Garlic
Tweaked from Simply Recipes and Wolfgang Puck

Roasted garlic will keep for up to three days, covered, in the refrigerator.

Music Pairing: Burn Out, Cinematic Orchestra, Everyday

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of garlic
  • olive oil

Method

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a sharp knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves.

Place the garlic heads in a small baking pan. Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head, using your fingers to make sure the garlic head is well coated. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the cloves are very tender but not overly brown. Test by carefully giving a bulb a gentle squeeze while protecting your hand with a folded kitchen towel or an oven glove.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. Scoop out each clove with a small knife or spoon. Serve with fresh crusty bread, your favorite French brie and good olives.

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