Today is another silly holiday, it is National Garlic Day! This is an ingredient I love using. Chopped up garlic sauteed with onions is the beginning to many a great meal. Roasting garlic makes a wonderful flavorful add on to all kinds of recipes, from spreads for toasted bread to a rub for grilled or baked meats. Roasting garlic is simple, and I will put one in the oven while cooking something else like my Panko Crusted Deviled Turkey Breast or Low Carb Crustless Anything Quiche so the oven is doing double duty.
It is interesting to note that although we think of garlic primarily for Italian food, the majority of the world’s production of garlic comes from China, India and South Korea. It has been used in Chinese medicine documented back to 2000 BC, although controlled studies have failed to demonstrate any measurable effect of garlic for lowering cholesterol or blood pressure. But, it was used as an antiseptic to prevent infection in soldier’s wounds in World War II, before the advent of antibiotics. Even without any measurable health benefit, its true value is flavor!
There are many different ways to roast garlic, using whole bulbs, separating the cloves or not separating, and oven temperatures ranging from 250 degrees up to 425 degrees! My philosophy is that while the oven is on anyway, roast some garlic. I don’t want to turn on the oven for just garlic. So, I roast mine at 350 degrees, like most entrees, for 45 minutes. Note that you don’t want to bake a cake at the same time, LOL, unless you want it to have a garlic aroma! A lot of recipes will say to wrap the garlic in foil, but then you get steamed garlic, not roasted. So I don’t wrap mine. I keep it in this special garlic keeper DH got me a couple of years ago. The holes in the bottom gives the bulbs just enough air to keep the garlic from spoiling, while it stays fresh.
Start by cutting off the top of the garlic.
Drizzle some olive oil on the top and spread it evenly over the cut surface.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until the garlic has a nice browned top.
Allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes so you can hold it in your hand and squeeze out the cloves.
Mash with a fork.
Store in a glass jar.
Add to your recipes for a real kick in flavor. You can add a tablespoon of roasted garlic to the ingredients in most any casserole, and it makes vegetable dishes into something that could serve as a main course. Try this Baked Spinach with Roasted Garlic. Start by gathering some ingredients.
Saute some onion in olive oil and a small pat of butter. Add mushrooms and lightly saute until onions are translucent and mushrooms are softened.
Remove the pan from the heat, and add the cream cheese.
Stir until it melts using only the residual heat left in the pan.
Squeeze all the water out of the thawed spinach.
Add to the pan and combine.
Add mayonnaise, lemon-pepper, and roasted garlic, stir to combine.
Pour into a baking dish sprayed with no-stick spray.
Top with shredded Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Yum! A wonderful side dish with chicken or seafood, or a great main course vegetarian meal.
Spinach with Roasted Garlic
1/4 cup chopped onion
4 medium-large mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp olive oil
small pat of butter
4 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon-pepper
1 tsp roasted garlic
1 10-oz pkg chopped spinach
3-4 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese
2-3 oz shredded Parmesan cheese
Saute onion and mushrooms in olive oil with a small pat of butter until onions are translucent and mushrooms are softened. Remove pan from heat, add cream cheese and stir until melted. Add next three ingredients stirring until well blended, then stir in spinach and onion/mushroom mixture. Pour into baking dish, top with mozzarella. Bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.
Double the recipe for wonderful leftovers for lunch the next day! I actually made this second one the next day as none was leftover from the recipe above after dinner.
Roasted Garlic is wonderful used on poultry, and I’ll show you that recipe soon.
Are you a fan of roasted garlic?