Have you ever roasted a whole head of garlic? And then squeezed the sweet, soft cloves over warm French bread? And then sprinkled the spread with a bit of sea salt? It is so delectable.
Never did I imagine eating a head of garlic in one sitting. Nor did I imagine serving a head of garlic to each guest at a dinner party. It sounds ferocious. But roasting garlic whole in foil pouches with a few fresh herbs tames its bite, mellowing and sweetening its flavor, transforming it into a butter-like purée almost as tasty as salted bone barrow… yum yum yum.
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Whole roasted garlic is a wonderful topping for warm bread but there are other uses as well: puréed and stirred into mashed potatoes; spread onto pizza; whisked into salad dressing.
Whole Roasted Garlic
Yield = How ever many heads you would like
Note: I make one foil pouch per head of garlic, but you probably could throw a couple of heads together in one pouch and have fine results.
1 head garlic
few sprigs of thyme (I used oregano here because I had no thyme on hand, but thyme is preferable)
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut off the very top portion of the head of garlic to reveal a few cloves. Place garlic on a sheet of aluminum foil (large enough to wrap around the garlic in a little pouch). Nestle the herbs around the garlic. Drizzle garlic with a touch of olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Pour 2 T. of water around the head of garlic — you might want to curl up the sides of foil before doing so. Wrap the foil up into a beggar’s purse or pouch making sure the foil is sealed.
2. Place in the oven (directly on the rack or on a baking sheet) and roast for 1 hour. Remove pouches from oven and let cool briefly or tuck right in, taking care while opening the packages as steam might come pouring out.
3. Spread the garlic on warm bread; top with a pinch of salt.