A ROASTED GARLIC EXPERIMENT
Is there anything in the world better than roasted garlic? Bacon, chocolate, sex...not very many things!
Roasted garlic bulbs are versatile, and they're about the simplest thing in the world to make.
Some things you can do with roasted garlic: Spread it on crackers, bread or even on celery or other vegies. Use in cooking. Eat it off your fingers. Make hummus with it. Spread it on your steak...the possibilities are endless!
The first time I made roasted garlic was for the holidays last year. It was a smashing success, except that some of the cloves were hard instead of soft and smushy. I found out that was because the tops of those cloves hadn’t been cut open before cooking.
For that batch, I wrapped each clove in aluminum foil and roasted it. I made six cloves and they were all eaten in a matter of minutes. Just to see if there is a difference in flavor, I’m trying out a different method where the cloves are baked in a glass dish with a lid. We’ll see what happens…
Preheat oven to 400F.
Whole garlic bulbs
Rub any loose paper off the outside of the bulbs and then take a sharp knife and cut the top of the bulb off to expose the individual cloves. If some of the cloves didn’t get exposed, use a paring knife to cut the tops of them so all the cloves are exposed.
Put the bulbs cut side up in an oven safe dish, drizzle enough olive oil over the garlic so each clove gets some.
I may have drizzled too much here...
Put the lid on and bake at 400F until soft and brown, somewhere between 40 and 60 minutes. For four cloves, it took about 40 minutes for mine to brown up.
Okay, so the roasting was easier, because I could see what was going on the whole time, instead of having to pull a bulb out, carefully unwrap the aluminum and peer inside. So that was a plus. Judging from photos of other online recipes, I may have undercooked them somewhat because they aren't super flavorful the way I remember, and they didn't quite get caramelized all over. Either that, or maybe the excess olive oil affected the flavor. So sad!
I think wrapping them individually in the aluminum foil also helps with the caramelization process. Next time, I'll go with the aluminum foil method and see if I like it better.
Aluminum foil method: same ingredients, same preparation, except that you wrap the bulbs individually. Before sealing the foil closed, drizzle each bulb with just enough olive oil to reach every clove then seal the foil up and bake at 400F for 60 minutes or so, enough time for the cloves to caramelize.
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