Friday, February 10, 2012

Roasted Garlic for Idiots

Every now and again, someone walks into the store and asks for a garlic roaster because they want to try roasting garlic and their friend had this cute little terracotta garlic shaped thingie that goes in the oven. Oh dear. Luckily we sell those cute little garlic shaped thingies.

Roasted garlic is a thing of beauty. Spread it on anything, on chicken or other meat before cooking, into butter to make a compound butter, into vegetables, or even spread on toasted baguette with a bit of coarse salt. Debatably garlic’s highest and best use. Really, all you need is an oven, some garlic and a sheet of aluminum foil. You wrap the whole head in the foil, and pop it in a 375°F oven for 45- 50 minutes until it feels soft when you squeeze the bundle gently. Open carefully, pull each clove off the head, and squish out the goodness. Roasted garlic. Even an idiot can manage that.

After all the whining I did a few posts back about my homegrown garlic not keeping well, I realized that I actually had to do something with said garlic, or it was going to dry up and wither away never having reached its highest potential: to be eaten.

So I brought up from the cellar what was left, and picked out all the dubious cloves. What was left is about two largish handfuls of garlic cloves. Those got dumped into a sheet of foil, drizzled with some extra virgin olive oil (optional, but since some were missing their papery coating, it seemed like a good idea), folded to seal and popped into the oven for about 45 minutes. Slightly brown and caramelized and oh, my goodness, good!

After I squeezed out the soft, so fragrant cloves, and wanting to lick my fingers, I put the peeled garlic back into the foil forming a roasted garlic strip about ½” wide and rolled it up like a cigar. Stuck it into a freezer bag, wrote the date and contents on the outside and popped it into the freezer. Now when I want to dress some vegetables, or make compound roasted garlic butter, all I have to do is hack off a bit with a sharp knife while still frozen and put the remaining garlic back in the freezer.

Doubt it’ll last more than a couple of weeks at the rate garlic is eaten around here, but then, I’m no idiot…about most things.

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