Basics: Roasted Garlic

So I’m going to start doing a series of recipes that I would consider “basics”.  Simple recipes you can enjoy on their own, or use to create ingredients that you can use in a number of applications.  My in-laws have an influx of garlic every year from their home garden, so I thought I’d do something different with some of it this year.

Garlic lovers will probably just spread this warm garlic right on a piece of bread and enjoy.  Now I enjoy garlic just as much as the next person, but I can’t seem to just eat it just by itself.  If you feel the same, you can mix it with butter, salt and pepper to make a spread for garlic bread.  Or with sour cream, as a topping for your baked potato.  It’s also delicious tossed in with any pasta dish, added to mashed potatoes, salad dressing or spread on pizza as a topping.  So many possibilities!  Once it’s roasted, that harsh bite is gone.  The garlic turns creamy, nutty, and spreadable.  Mmmmmmm.

Roasted Garlic, adapted from Simply Recipes

1 Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2 Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact.  Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.

3 Place the garlic heads in a baking pan; muffin pans work well for this purpose.  Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head, using your fingers to make sure the garlic head is well coated.  Cover with aluminum foil.  Bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed.

4 Allow the garlic to cool enough so you can touch it without burning yourself.  Use a small small knife cut the skin slightly around each clove.  Use a cocktail fork or your fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins.

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