Nothing is easy. Especially not figuring out what to make for dinner, which can actually feel like sort of a chore if you cook a lot. Having said that, I’ll admit that few things make me as happy as cooking…so I ought to stop complaining and celebrate the fact that last week I received a gift of somewhere around 30 bulbs of fresh garlic from the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival! Weehoo! What to do with such a generous harvest? Well, there is one thing in cooking that IS easy AND satisfying. Two words: roasted garlic. I learned how to roast these lovely alliums over a decade ago and still it’s totally magic to me how a little heat and a drizzle of olive oil can turn something so pungent and crisp as raw garlic into something this mellow, sweet, and smooth.
At a glance: Garlic will keep vampires and persons of interest away, but less so once the cloves have been roasted. Cooking garlic mellows out some of its odiferous qualities. Garlic also contains enzymes that could protect the body from certain cancers. Who knew: Research suggests that you can boost your bulbs’ healthy properties by slightly crushing them and then allowing them to rest for about 1o minutes before cooking with them.
It’s officially chilly out, friends. So turn that oven on and get roasting!
Never Enough! Roasted Garlic
4 bulbs garlic, kept intact
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
pinch of sea salt
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Remove the upper 1/2″ from each bulb of garlic, to just expose the interior of the cloves. Sit the bulbs upright on a sheet of foil, exposed tops facing up. Drizzle the bulbs with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Close up the foil so the garlic is covered. Roast the foil packet in the oven for about one hour. Allow to cool. Serve with thinly-sliced, toasted bread, maybe some chicken, and perhaps a nice glass of ale.