I really believe in the antibiotic properties of garlic. Whenever I feel some germ getting a foothold in my body I eat as much garlic as possible. They say you're supposed to eat it raw but that's just beyond me - truly fresh garlic burns my mouth far too much. So I roast it! I get to eat an appetizer that also fights off nasty little germs! Truly a tiny food and with medicinal properties!
Now, mind you, since I deal with the public at my art shows I never eat a ton of roasted garlic before a show. If I don't have a few days to get the garlic out of my system I will wait until I do before foisting myself on some poor unsuspecting client!
Anyhoo, I love roasted garlic. I'll eat it hot right out of the pan just after roasting. I'll spread it on a nice toasted slice of baguette and I'll toss it in just about anything for flavor but my favorite is to eat it slathered on a nicely buttered and toasted baguette slice. Here's what I do:
- I smash my hand on the garlic bulb to loosen the cloves
- I lightly smash (do not crush!) the bulbs which helps loosen them for peeling
- I cut the ends off
- Then I coat the individual garlic cloves in olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt
- I turn the oven up to about 450 degrees and roast the cloves for about 20 minutes to forty minutes, depending on the size of the cloves (I want to get a slight caramelized color).
- After the first 20 minutes I check the pan and pull out any cloves that are done, - they'll be brown and toasty and soft. Then I recheck every ten minutes or so after that and pull any pieces that are nice and brown until all the cloves are finished.
- I salt the garlic cloves and spread what's left (because I'll end up eating half of them before they cool down!) on some buttered and toasted baguette slices. Yum!
BTW, I just went shopping this afternoon - bulbs of garlic have gone sky-high like everything else, but I spied a jar of already peeled cloves for about 2 bucks! It was the equivalent of 2 decent sized bulbs and the work was already done so I bought a couple of jars. These have to be used quickly - no problemo with that for me - and I love the ease of just tossing the cloves in olive oil and roasting without the work. They were pretty darn fresh and very firm so I was happy with them and their cost!
COOKING TIP: To get the smell of garlic off your hands rub them in salt - I use a salt my friend Dennis gave me as a foot soak. It comes from the Dead Sea and has eucalyptus oil in it. I grab a few granules and wet my hands with warm water and rub the salt in. Works great! Some say you can use stainless steel but it never worked for me whereas the salt does.