Anyone who knows me really well… knows that garlic is one of my favorite things to cook with. It’s not uncommon for me to use a whole head in a dish…. I eat it all the time. Seriously. It’s rare to find me eating a salad without a head of roasted garlic in it, soups, sauteed veggies, sauces… raw when I’m getting sick – you name it. I am a total garlic freak.
Roasting garlic is an experience I truly feel everyone should have. Everything about it… the warmth of the stove, the sharp scent while it’s still raw, the stick of the papery outer layers, the heady aroma while it cooks and caramelizes, and of course.. the best part, eating it. Roasted garlic, my total food romance.
Garlic has been used for ages as a home remedy as it is anticarcinogenic, antifungal and antibacterial. Whether it’s warding off a vampire or a cold/flu virus, garlic is definitely king in the kitchen. Adding it not only enhances flavor, but safety as well. People living in a hot climate know… similarly to using lemongrass, putting a few pieces of raw garlic into a pot of rice prohibits bacterial formations that would be harmful to us if ingested. It eliminates toxins from the body, which you’ll be familiar with if you’ve ever had too much at one time… not only do you have a garlicky aroma yourself, but you can feel your body detoxing big time! Garlic stimulates the metabolism, as well as promotes happy bacteria in the intestine. It’s amazing really, it’s used all over the world! So many different cultures, tastes and remedies. I love it. It is a strong taste, of course.. so my general feeling is – you like garlic? Add lots. Not a big fan? Then don’t. For garlic lovers, and garlic haters … this stinky bulb can make or break a dish. In my world… it makes everything better.
Whole Head of Garlic
Coconut or Grapeseed Oil
Roasting garlic is so simple… preheat the oven to 350 or 375. Slice off the top part of the garlic, removing just the tips. You want to keep the head intact, papery skin on. This exposes the cloves to the heat and allows them to roast deeper, quicker. If you choose to use oil, add a small amount to the freshly exposed cloves. Some people like to wrap the garlic heads in foil, some don’t… I have tried both methods and typically just leave them uncovered. Why use the foil if it’s not necessary? Whether it’s wrapped in foil or not, place it top side up in an oven-safe baking dish and bake for about 30-45 minutes. The tops will be nice and golden, beautifully caramelized and the inner portion will be deliciously soft. Allow the bulb to cool a bit, then careful not to burn your fingers.. squeeze each clove out of the paper gently. It should just pop right out! From here… you could spread it on toast, add it to a salad, sauce, pasta, absolutely anything! Enjoy each sweet clove!