There’s no doubt that April 19th has been circled in your calendar for weeks now, but, just in case, here’s a reminder that the date is … National Garlic Day! Yep, that knobby papery bulb we all know so well – the culinary workhorse which has played a fragrant role in our cuisines for millennia, called out as a superfood-wonder-drug thanks to its medicinal properties, has been awarded its own national day of observance! And why not?
If you follow this blog, you know I am a big fan of garlic (and you must be too, if you make my recipes). A little clove adds just the right amount of kick to sauces, dressings, marinades (you get the picture), while a generous press will knock your socks off in robust and spicy meals (best shared with those you plan on spending close time with – after all, garlic isn’t called the ‘stinking rose’ for nothing!)
In fact, garlic’s raw pungency can be tough to take for some (and their partners), so a great method to cook garlic is to roast it. Roasting transforms its cloves into sticky-soft and slightly caramelized versions of themselves, mellowing their sharpness with creamy, buttery and other-worldly results. There are endless ways to use roasted garlic, so I’ll roast several heads at once and store the puree in the refrigerator, dipping into my stash throughout the week to whisk into dressings, sauces, marinades, risottos – the list goes on – or use as a spread on pizza and crostini.
So are you ready to learn how to roast garlic? It’s very simple, and in this post I’ve teamed up with my talented videographer friends at Food Guru to make a fun short video that shows you how to do it, along with 4 easy recipes where you can use it. The written recipes follow below – enjoy!
Pinch of sea salt
Slice 1/4 inch off the top of the garlic bulb. Place the bulb on a piece of foil. Drizzle oil over the top of the garlic. Enclose the garlic in the foil. Place in a small baking dish and roast until soft, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove, unwrap and cool to the touch. Squeeze out the garlic into a bowl and mash with a fork.
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup mashed roasted garlic
4 ounces soft fresh goat cheese
6 asparagus, ends trimmed, shaved lengthwise
Freshly ground black pepper
Shave the asparagus with a vegetable peeler and place in a bowl. Drizzle with a little oil, season with a pinch of salt, and toss to coat.
Spread the garlic puree on the crostini. Crumble the goat cheese over the crostini and mound the asparagus on top.
Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
Makes about 3/4 cup
3 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons mashed roasted garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Whisk the vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Add the oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly to emulsify.
2 tablespoons mashed roasted garlic
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Mash the butter, garlic, and salt in a bowl until blended.
Serves 2 to 4
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh chopped Italian parsley leaves
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Arrange cauliflower steaks in one layer in a baking pan. Brush on all sides with olive oil and season with the paprika, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven until tender and golden brown at the edges, about 20 minutes. Transfer the cauliflower to a serving plate. Top with a spoonful of garlic butter. Garnish with fresh parsley.