Garlic. So potent it's borderline amazing because not only can it spice up a boring soup, but it can also ward off vampires. Amazing. I have yet to find a garlic fest out here in the Midwest, but back home there is a garlic festival every year. Food with garlic, art made out of garlic and even garlic ice cream. The ice cream is something I still have yet to try and it’s not really on my top ten things to do just yet. I remember walking the festivals and craft fairs and always seeing the really pretty garlic wreaths and hanging braids. My favorites were always the braids and wreaths that had other pretty herbs woven into the garlic. We always had one hanging on the door in the kitchen for two reasons; a healthy welcome to visitors and easy access when cooking.
Roasting garlic gives the garlic such a nice, earthy taste and takes out that potent garlic taste that leaves it’s trace for hours. It turns a nice brown color and is soft enough to smash into butter for amazing garlic butter. Roasted garlic freezes really well – but be careful. Preserving in oil can lead to botulism and that is really dangerous. It is literally as easy as 1, 2, 3 and makes the house smell absolutely amazing while it is roasting.
So, to get to the point, finally! You will need bulbs of garlic (as many as you would like to roast, I happened to do 12 at one time), olive oil, salt, pepper, a muffin pan and tin foil. You probably have all of that already in your kitchen, right? Perfect!
Preheat the oven 400 degrees and get ready for the aroma to start filling your house. Keeping the bulbs intact as much as possible cut the tops off from all of the cloves. Place them in the muffin pan wells with the cut tops facing up. Drizzle the olive oil over the garlic and then sprinkle the salt and pepper over each clove. Cover each well with a small piece of tin foil and pop it in the oven for about 30 minutes. Super easy, right?
When the garlic is done you will notice that it has turned a nice dark earthy brown and is soft to the touch. Let the cloves cool with the tin foil still over them. Once they are cooled, squeeze the garlic out of the peel, and snitch a piece! Delicious! From there I use the Food Saver to freeze the garlic. They are fairly quick to defrost, but if you are using the roasted garlic in soup feel free to throw it in frozen.
Some of my favorite ways to use roasted garlic include making garlic butter, which is even better with a tiny bit of honey added. I also like to add it to pasta dishes such as homemade pesto. I tend to make pesto sauce with kale when I don’t have basil, and the roasted garlic gives it such a nice warm flavor that parmesan cheese isn’t even needed. Another favorite is to add it to a dip or create a dip of my own. Mixing sour cream with roasted garlic and peppers with some spices really turns out to be a crowd pleaser!
Try it! Roasted garlic tastes amazing, is versatile and it is so satisfying to know you made it yourself.