There are many things that can make your life better and more enjoyable. Roasted garlic is one of them. Robots are another. Don’t believe me? Well, tell Alexa to have the Roomba clean your house while you head out to take your dog for a walk, get some of that vitamin D everyone’s always raving about, and bask in all of the things you suddenly have just a little bit more free time for! Like roasting garlic. The future is now, people. Let the great robot takeover of humanity begin! Just kidding. Sort of.
There are plenty of different methods for roasting garlic, and for a long time I went with the standard: Slice the top off a head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, wrap in foil and roast. One problematic aspect for me here is that I often have the hard neck variety of garlic on hand and trying to saw through it, well, you see, I like my knives, and they didn’t do anything to deserve such treatment. I mean, the standard method works, and it’s fine for soft neck varieties of garlic, but…
Every-damn-time, some of the cloves end up burnt because the sizes of them vary (nature, go figure). And what? Are you supposed to just throw away the little tippity-tops of the sliced off garlic cloves? Save them in the fridge to use when in need of raw garlic—but, that’s not where you normally store garlic—so you keep reaching for it from its usual location instead and only remember those need-to-use-garlic-scraps when you open the refrigerator doors and the smell is so pungent it burns your nostrils along with your short-term memory? And yeah, sure, you can take the whole head of roasted garlic and squeeze the cloves out, but after awhile the novelty of that is overshadowed by the nuisance of getting oily garlic paper off your hands and fingers while deep in the recesses of your mind, you know you didn’t get all of the roasted garlic out of there, and it it eats away at you. It bothers you.
Or at least it does me. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t like wasting food and neither should you. There are so many recipes or methods of food preparation that nonchalantly instruct food waste with the loaded command of: “do so and so and then discard this or that...” I mean, how many times have you seen a step like that in a recipe and thought: “Why? I’m sure I can do something with this.” (I’m looking at you, gazpacho .)
Look, many of us make mistakes sometimes and overshop or overlook something that we keep reminding ourselves needs to be eaten or it’s gonna go bad and then end up tossing it later on anyway while silently cursing ourselves. I’ll even go so far as to admit that wasting food makes me feel like a bad person. Like, a really bad person. Now, some of that guilt is valid, because I know I’m doing something wrong. The rest though, that life-sentence kind of guilt, I’m gonna go right ahead and pin a portion of that onto years, and years, and years of Catholic schooling. But that’s what therapy is for, right? You might be thinking “Yikes.” I know I am.
What was I talking about? Oh yeah. This method for roasting garlic is one tiny example of how sometimes when you stop to think about what it is that you’re doing, you realize there’s gotta be a better way than what you’re used to, or than what is common practice. Metaphorical light bulbs go off when you question things. Occasionally.
As to why roasted garlic will make your life better? Well, if you’ve made it before I shouldn’t have to tell you. But, if you haven’t, how lucky you are! It’s a whole new world! Spread it on toasted or untoasted bread, whip it into butter or mix it into mayonnaise, add it to grilled cheese sandwiches, soups, pastas, salad dressings, baked potatoes, focaccia, hell, pop those sweet cloves into your mouth instead of candy! Roasted garlic cloves, like fresh herbs, are transcendent ingredients to always have on hand, because they pack a wallop of flavor, and because I know I can call upon these life-enhancing things to make something go from “mmmmm!” to “MMMMM!”
Hello! I'm Kat.
Cooker, baker, amateur pottery maker.
I'm a CIA graduate (culinary arts & applied food studies) who previously studied anthropology.
Food obsessed. Anxiety disorder. Grief bearer.
Here you'll find recipes for what I'm currently feeling and sometimes even why!