Thursday, March 10, 2011

Oven Roasted Garlic

Anytime I roast veggies in the oven (which is often) I also like to pop in a head of garlic to make 
delicious roast garlic and garlic flavored olive oil.

A little crusty bread and some roasted garlic and you have a super simple appetizer!

you could even go one step further and serve it with warm brie, or just olives and radishes as I did.
There are few things I love more than warm roasted garlic spread on good bread.

All you have to do is cut the root side off a whole head of garlic. Cut high enough up on the bunch so the inside cloves are exposed as well as the outside.

*Did you know that if you rinse your hands with something made out of stainless steel it neutralizes the garlic smell on your hands after cutting it? Well it does, so try it!

Place the head, cut side down in a small glass canning jar. Add the little bits of garlic that were cut off, waste nothing! actually the little bits cook up to be crunchy little garlic nibs, maybe the best part of the whole thing.
Pour some good quality olive oil into the jar, sprinkle with kosher salt and roast in the oven at 350 degrees until the bits are golden brown and the head of garlic is softened.

At this point you may remove the garlic and devour it or you may allow it to cool, screw the lid on it and save it for later. We usually eat about half right away then refrigerate and use the rest in recipes. I also like to use the now garlic flavored olive oil for cooking, or just for dipping bread in with a little balsamic.
With very minimal effort you have a sophisticated appetizer, or picnic! 

In the past I have also placed a bottle of wine, a baguette, the garlic, and some cheese in a basket and given it as a gift. 

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Peace and garlicky fingers!

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