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September 2006 Issue
Roasted Garlic
by Philip R. Gantt
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Welcome to Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair!

As of this writing, it has been about 10 days since we visited the Gilroy Garlic Festival. What a great event! There was plenty of good food, music, arts and crafts, and even free garlic ice cream which is always a hit with kids and older folks alike. Toward the end of the day, we decided to try the garlic scampi served with a creamy garlic sauce. Yum!

Garlic is one of my favorite foods. In fact, when I was a youngster of 2 to 5 years of age, I used to sneak into my grandmother’s cupboard, sneak a head of garlic and eat it like an apple. I thought it was good, but other family members didn't appreciate the smell and made me play outside.

There are actually several types of garlic, some more pungent than others, some large and some small. Elephant garlic is probably the mildest garlic and has the largest cloves. Some garlic has white skin and some purple skin. In general, white skin garlic has the smallest cloves and purple skin garlic has larger cloves. I have seen the purple skin garlic referred to as Italian garlic in the market. I think purple skin garlic has better flavor and is easier to peel than white skin garlic because the skin is thicker.

Now, on to the recipe! Be well, and good eating!

 

Roasted Garlic

This is a simple recipe and can be prepared in advance. Garlic is certainly less pungent when cooked. So, for you fellow garlic lovers out there, try roasting a head or two of garlic. Roasted garlic can be used in salads or salad dressings, spread on toast or crackers, or spread on your favorite meat (burgers, steaks, chicken, etc.).

I prefer to cut the top off the garlic head before roasting because it makes it easier to remove the cloves with a small fork or other tool. Alternately, once cooled, the garlic can be squeezed out of the peeling with your fingers.

  • 1 large head garlic, preferably with large cloves
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt to taste
Cut the top off the head of garlic so that the very tips of the cloves are exposed. Place the head of garlic in the center of a 10 to 12 inch square sheet of foil. Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the garlic head and wrap the head in the foil. Roast the wrapped garlic in the oven for 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before unwrapping the foil.

Remove the cloves from the skin and place into a bowl for serving. Serve with toasted French bread slices. The cloves will be easy to spread with a knife. You may also whisk the roasted garlic with a little olive oil to make a dip, or to make a salad dressing. Enjoy!

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 55 minutes
 



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