As an Italian cooking enthusiast, you already know that garlic is a staple of this cuisine. Closely related to onions, garlic is a pungent bulb that adds a distinctive flavor to a variety of dishes. More and more recipes these days call for roasted garlic as an ingredient. Instead of purchasing roasted garlic, try roasting your own and keep it on hand for use in a variety of dishes. Here are some easy tips on how to roast garlic.
Begin by selecting large, firm heads of garlic and cutting off the tops just enough to expose the tops of the cloves inside. Take an old ceramic pan and drizzle one to two tablespoons of olive oil on the bottom and tilt it to thoroughly cover the surface. Place the heads in the pan with cut sides up. The exposed heads need moisture, so drizzle them with olive oil. Sprinkle the heads with salt, preferable a type like Kosher salt or sea salt that has larger flakes as these will adhere better to the cloves. Sprinkle the cloves with pepper and cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil.
Roast the garlic heads in a 375 degree over for 35 to 45 minutes until tender and fragrant. Let the heads cool and take each head and gently squeeze each clove at the bottom to release the garlic. The garlic will be quite mushy. Place the roasted garlic with a bit of olive oil in a jar and cap tightly.
Roasted garlic has many different uses. At its simplest, you can pop it in your mouth and eat it. You can also mash it and spread it on bread for a tasty treat. Other uses include mixing it into mashed potatoes or into mustard or mayonnaise to make a delicious sandwich topping. Mix into hamburger meat before putting them on the grill or place in soups for great flavor, mix it in butter and gravies, mix it into hummus, sour cream or yogurt to make a more tasty dip. The possibilities are endless.
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