If you ask me, garlic is one of the great sources of joy in the universe; second only to the obligatory things like being a mom, being kind to others, a warm summer’s breeze and all that jazz. But when my five-year-old is tap dancing on my last nerve (as I’m told five-year-olds are wont to do), I’d be tempted to trade her for a perfectly roasted head of garlic faster than a Bluetick hound can tree a possum, if asked. (For those of you unfamiliar with the ways of Bluetick hounds, that’s pretty darn fast.)
When garlic is roasted, its sharp flavor is transformed into a richer, mellower, almost sweeter version of its former self. The firm, spicy cloves caramelize and soften, creating a spreadable concoction like no other. Freshly roasted garlic makes a delicious spread for crusty bread or use it to add kick to sauces, mashed potatoes or pretty much anything else you want to taste great.
Here’s how you do it:
First, preheat your oven to 350°F.
Slice off the top ¾-inch (guesstimate – this is not meant to be an exact measurement, just a guideline) of a head of garlic. Place the garlic on a piece of foil and drizzle it with about a tablespoon of olive oil.
Wrap it tightly and pop the package into your oven until it’s soft to the touch, about 45 minutes to an hour. The garlic should be soft and offer almost no resistance when you give it a quick squeeze (quick because it will be piping hot). Take it out of the oven and let it sit until it’s cool enough to handle.
You’ll be able to squeeze the creamy, garlicky goodness right out of the papery skins to use as you please.