Regular readers know that I have been growing a lot of garlic. I have been looking for more ways to use it. We put it in more meals than we used to. We make dishes that call for a lot of garlic. But I still have grown far more than we will use in a year.
So for Christmas, my wife bought me a garlic roaster. I know that I can just wrap garlic in foil, but since I have the roaster, I’m going to use it. So the other night we made roast beef with mashed potatoes. To accompany it, I roasted garlic and spread it on good French bread we got from a local bakery. I would have baked bread myself, but time got away from me. Today’s post is how to make use of this garlic roaster to make awesome roasted garlic bread.
I don’t know if all garlic roasters call for this step, but my roaster says to soak the roaster in water for 5 minutes. It takes at least that long to get the garlic prepared to roast, so there isn’t any time lost.
If the oven isn’t already preheated, preheat it to 400F. In my case, we were already cooking the roast beef at 325F, so we started roasting the garlic at this temperature. Anywhere between 325F and 400F is fine since I judge done-ness by look and not by timing it.
This step takes the most time. Remove the outer papers. On my home-grown garlic, this is 2 or 3 layers. But be careful not to remove the wrapper from each clove. We want to see each clove individually wrapped. If they come off of the root, they can still be roasted, but I like them to remain intact. I feel that it looks better, but it does not make it taste any differently.
Using a sharp knife, remove the top 1/4″ of the entire bulb. Each clove needs the top cut off. If the initial cut doesn’t take care of every clove, cut the top off of the missed clove.
Place it in the roaster and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the cut end of the cloves. I like to grind on some black pepper and sea salt, but it tastes great even without the salt and pepper. Notice that I put the tips that I cut off the cloves into the roaster as well.
Put on the top and set the roaster in the oven. Now the waiting game begins. As I said above, I judge done-ness by look, not time. But it will take 60-90 minutes to roast completely. When finished, the garlic is browned like in this picture. When is looks like this, pull it from the oven and probe the bigger cloves with the tip of a knife to see if they are tender. If not, put it back into the oven.
Notice the tips that I roasted along with the rest of the bulb. These are good to eat as soon immediately after removing from the oven. Unfortunately since they are pretty small, they sometimes get too well done. If they are not eaten immediately, they continue cooking and develop a burned taste.
Remove the bulb from the roaster and allow it to cool for about 5 minutes.
Use a fork to pull the individual garlic cloves out of the wrapper. Better yet, pull one of the cloves off the bulb and squeeze the garlic out of the wrapper. The garlic will have a buttery consistency making it easy to spread on some good bread. We like it on French bread, but some like it better on toasted bread.
The harsh garlic taste will be gone. It will now taste like a sweet garlic butter spread. This is so good. It is mild enough that the cloves are tasty eaten right out of the wrappers.