Once upon a visit to my parents’ house in Virginia, Rob and I made salsa. Our go-to homemade recipe actually came from someone in North Carolina, not Texas, which seems a little odd. As we both tend to do, we used it as a base and ran with it. This meant adding a lot (a LOT) of garlic. My mother swears that the next morning as she passed our closed door, she could smell the garlic seeping out of our skin. She still talks about this, shaking her head.
She found it gross. I find it kind of awesome.
To keep the garlic theme going (and to one-up any claims you might think you have on most garlic-y), when Rob and I went on vacation a few years ago to New Smyrna in Florida, we ate at a restaurant called The Garlic. Because people like us HAVE to eat in a restaurant called The Garlic. It was a delicious experience, but the appetizer was the most memorable: whole heads of garlic, roasted and ready to be slathered on warm bread like butter. We absolutely asked for a second head of roasted garlic. I wonder if the people in the hotel where we were staying walked by our door in the morning and wondered, “What is that SMELL??” I can only hope.
So let’s talk how to roast garlic. It’s easy. So easy, in fact, that it falls into my Stupid Simple category.
Preheat the oven to 400. Take a head of garlic. Chop off just the top, keeping the head together (as opposed to separating the cloves). Make a sort of cup out of foil and place the garlic in, the chopped part facing up. Pour 1 tsp olive oil over the top (I always use extra virgin) and seal up the foil. Place the foiled garlic in the oven for 40 or so minutes. My new gas oven cooks a little quicker and the garlic was totally done by 40 minutes. If you do too much, it starts to get crispy around the edges, so peek at it at around 40-45 minutes. It should look soft and darker than when you started, but you can see in my pictures that a little bit of mine was getting too done and chewy. (I still ate it, of course.)
BOOM. Roasted garlic.
What to do with this? Put it on bread. Put it on pizza. Put it in pasta or in sauces. Put it in mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. Just put it in your mouth. I love garlic, but raw is a little too potent. (Read about what Sawyer said the first time he tried garlic.) Roasting brings out the sweetness of garlic without burning your face off. It will also make your house smell AMAZING.
Want to know where else you can use it? In my Hatch Chile Salsa (coming up this week). Yum! One recommendation I have: make more than one at a time.
Want more Stupid Simple ideas? Click below.