Sunday, January 8, 2012

How to Roast Garlic

I love things that have been roasted...chicken, veggies, chipotle peppers, marshmallows and so on.  One of my favorite ingredients though, is roasted garlic.  There is this richness that comes with roasting something. The sugars in the food caramelize and magic happens.

One dish in particular that we love is roasted garlic in is hummus, so creamy and rich and as a bonus it's good for you too! I try to keep a supply of it on hand as most all of the members of my family enjoy this.  That being said, when the local grocery is out of roasted garlic hummus I would reach for the regular feeling disappointed and not just a little cheated.  But then I experimented one afternoon when I was planning on making this amazing spinach artichoke dip.  I wanted a little more wow factor in my dip.  So a few minutes before I had to go back to work from my lunch I grabbed a head of garlic, chopped the top off, drizzled some olive oil over it in a small bowl, tossed it in the oven and left with my hopes high and my fingers crossed.

Side note here, I am super thankful for my oven.  It has such helpful options for a busy working mom.  You can program it to cook when you want for how long you want how ever hot you need it.  So I'm not advocating that you leave your oven on unattended (infact my husband cringes and double checks our insurance policy when I do this) but that is what I did.  Oh back to my garlicy goodness.

When I came home, my home smelled delightful (no not like burned lumber!).  I checked the oven and it looked great!  Now I could make my hummus as garlicy as I wanted and my dip would have a bit more pizazz.

With out further ado how to roast garlic:

1 head of garlic
Olive Oil (I used extra virgin)
Small oven save dish, knife and cutting board

Preheat oven to 350

Remove all the loose paper from the head of garlic.  As you can see I didn't do the greatest job here since I was in a rush.  Then cut the top of it off.  The top is the part with the stem.  The bit with roots is the bottom.  Cut enough that the cloves are all exposed.  Place this in an oven save dish and drizzle about 1 tbsp olive oil over it. Now bake for about 35min until the garlic now looks like it's got a nice tan.

Mine is over cooked a bit but you get the idea, yes? Now the messy part, the most fun in my opinion.  Squish the garlic out of the paper skins, cut off any dried ends if needed. You can squeeze the entire head but you still won't get it all. Check each clove to make sure no garlicy goodness is missed.

 Lightly chop or mash with a spoon to make smoother and you now have roasted garlic to add to your favorite dishes.  I'd use it in about a week, but so far I haven't had any left to keep that long.

That's it.  Really it's that easy.  Now go something and add it to your next meal.

Until we eat again!

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