Saturday, June 2, 2012

Roasted Garlic

Roasted. Garlic.
Two words that are music to my ears. It's also a great way to encourage those of us who are not big on heavy garlic flavor or heavy garlic breath after an Italian meal. Roasting garlic is easy, and the cooking process mellows out the garlic flavor (aka mild garlicky taste). Some people add it as a side to a dish (can you imagine eating an entire bulb of garlic? Oo, I can.), while other use it as a spread for crusty sliced bread or on top of a good steak. For Memorial Day, we mixed it into "loaded" mashed potatoes (recipe later).

Roasted Garlic
1-12 bulbs of garlic
1 TB oil for each bulb
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400. On a cutting board, peel the outer skin of the garlic bulb (not the skin around each bulb, but the layers wrapping the entire bulb together). Then, cut the top layer of the garlic head across, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. This will expose all of the tops of the cloves so they can cook more evenly.

Using a muffin tin, place each bulb into a muffin cup. Drizzle with 1 TB olive oil (roundabout) and spread with your fingers or a brush to ensure it coats the top of each bulb. Cover each bulb with a tiny piece of foil and let cook at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Let cool in the muffin tin for at least 5 or 10 minutes before handling. In order to remove the soft, piping hot garlic, use a cocktail fork or my Push Pop Method: Lay the bulb on its side, top away from you. Using a large spoon on its side, push down from the bottom of the bulb and toward the top. Voila, you have roasted garlic for bread, potatoes, meat, or whatever!

Health benefits of garlic:

  • Increases our natural supply of hydrogen sulfide (antioxidant), protecting us against cancers like colon, breast and prostate.
  • Can protect against heart disease
  • Helps improve our iron metabolism
  • Consumption of garlic may help regulate the fat cells that are formed in our bodies
  • Middle Eastern and Asian cultures consume an average of 9--14 cloves a day, but most doctors recommend 5 or more cloves daily (easy to do if you're cooking with it!).
  • Sources: New York Times and WHFoods

Happy eating!

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