Why should you roast garlic? Because it’s easy and it’s delicious and it makes your house smell good. Roasted Garlic is a very different animal from fresh garlic. Roast garlic is caramelized and sweet and buttery. It’s not at all the acrid, sharp veg that is fresh garlic. Roasted garlic is great to spread on toast or crackers. Roasted garlic is wonderful on grilled steaks. Smeared onto pizza crust! mmmm…. Blend it into mayonnaise or salad dressing for a real treat. You don’t even need to buy a special garlic roaster or extra kitchen accessories.
This is also a good way to use up those heads of garlic that you bought and never used and just found in the back of the vegetable drawer! If they’re not too black with mildew…
To roast garlic, cut off the tops of the whole heads to expose every clove. You might need to cut again to get down into the clove. Double a sheet of aluminium foil and make a 6″ x 6″ square. Wrap this around the bottom of the heads. Fold out and crumple the top edge to make a rim. Pour some olive oil onto the cut surface to protect the cloves from drying. Put the heads on a tray or a oven-safe pan.
Put the garlic in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes. The cloves will start to pop out of the papers when they’re done. They should be past fork-tender and spreadable. Serve them in the little foil nests or gently squeeze them out into a small dish for your guests.
Or if your oven’s already hot and you’re roasting something else, roast garlic today and wrap it up and stick it in the freezer when it’s done and cooled. It keeps great and freezes even better. If you’re baking at 350, just leave them in a little longer. If you’ve got the oven at 500, you’ll probably have to pull them after 30 minutes. Experiment! You’ll get delicious results either way!