Roasting garlic is incredibly easy. And you can use the soft, mild and nutty cloves in so many different ways. Stir it into soft cheeses and soups, or mash it into soft butter to up the garlic ante. Or simply spread a whole roasted clove over a piece of toasted bread. If you really love garlic, just pop a freshly roasted clove into your mouth all by itself — you won't be disappointed! Here's how to do it right:
1. Take an entire head of garlic and peel away the outer layers of paper. You don't need to remove the skin that clings to each clove; just peel off the paper that falls away easily.
2. Lay the head of garlic on its side, and chop off about a quarter inch from the top. You want to see at least a sliver of the naked skin of each clove.
3. Set the head of garlic on a piece of aluminum foil (about 4-by-4 inches); or place on the tray of your fancy-schmancy terra cotta garlic baker. Drizzle something yummy over the top. Yummy things might include olive oil, hazelnut oil, sesame oil, veggie stock or free-range chicken broth (2 tablespoons should be plenty).
4. Pinch the foil around the top to cinch the garlic-shaped package, or put the lid on your supersnazzy garlic baker.
5. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes, or until your garlic is sooooooooo delicious. You will know it is sooooooooo delicious when your home smells absolutely incredible and the cloves are soft, squishy and golden brown.
6. To release the cloves, simply squeeze each one and watch the perfectly roasted clove slip right out of its paper. Warning: Your hands will get a little greasy.