Site of the Day - January 23, 2007 on Action 4 News Sunrise.
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How To Roast Whole Heads Of Garlic
Someone ones said that there are all the different cuisines, and then there is garlic. The garlic cuisine is called "tasty".
I have been to restaurants that serve a roasted head of garlic with the bread, instead of butter. I even worked in a restaurant where the roasted garlic was an item in the appetizer menu. Roasting whole heads of garlic is very easy and you can make as many as you like with just a minimal effort. Aside that it can be spread on bread instead of butter, roasted garlic can have many different creative uses: in dressings, sandwich spreads, pasta sauces, pizza and so on. All you need is whole garlic heads, some olive oil and sea salt.
How to roast whole heads of garlic:
Cut off just a little bit from the tops of each garlic head, only enough to expose each individual clove. Brush each bulb thoroughly with olive oil and place them on a shallow baking dish in the oven. Sprinkle the garlic with a pinch of coarse sea salt and turn the heat to 350 F. Roast until the garlic is brown and mushy, usually at least 1 hour or more, depending on size.
Whole roasted head of garlic
If you are in a hurry you can make a shortcut. After cutting the tops of the garlic heads, deep-fry them for 3 minutes in hot oil at 325 F, then roast them until fully cooked and soft. If you do that the cooking time goes down to no more than 45 minutes. In this case you don't have to brush the garlic with olive oil before roasting.
How to roast individual garlic cloves:
If you are going to use the roasted garlic for anything else than appetizer, it is more convenient to use peeled garlic cloves. The idea is basically the same: toss the garlic cloves with some olive oil, arrange them in a shallow roasting pan on a single layer, sprinkle them with salt is desired and roast at 300 F for about 45 minutes , or until the garlic cloves are lightly brown and very soft.
Finally, if you are after the health benefits of garlic, you should buy local garlic from farmer's markets. The imported garlic looks so suspiciously perfect that it always makes me wonder what kind of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides have been used to grow it. It is possible that most of the health benefits of those kind of garlic have been canceled by the use of chemicals. For me good food is healthy food, and not too many foods beat organic garlic in my book. Cheers.
About the author: George Krumov is a Red Seal certified chef with many years of culinary experience working around the world in Europe, the Middle East, the cruise line industry and North America. In the last two decades he has headed the kitchens of several restaurants in Canada, and ran his own restaurant.