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Roasted Garlic–Best Casual Appetizer

Roasted Garlic is THE best casual appetizer. The preparation is so stinking easy. You just lop the top from a bulb, or five, and drizzle on a bit of olive oil. Cover and bake. Serve with crackers. That’s it.

Roasted Garlic and Crackers

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Buttery roasted garlic is definitely casual. Even with a small pate knife in the other hand, it’s not easy keeping a pinkie up when squeezing, plucking, and spreading. Roasted garlic does not reek elegance–Emily Post would only recommend it for the unceremonious occasion.

But if you serve roasted garlic as an informal starter for friends and family, you’ve got a winner. I’ve seen guests literally camp at a buffet, scooping soft garlic goo onto crackers until there’s no more left.

Chesnok Red Garlic for Roasted Garlic recipe

Garlic is the stinking rose, the moniker a term of endearment. And for me, time in the oven makes garlic even dearer: strong and smelly mellows into yes, sweet and buttery.

Roast some garlic. If no one camps in front of the platter and you’ve had your fill, use the leftovers in roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

garlic ready to roast for roasted garlic appetizer

It doesn’t really matter which kind of garlic you roast—just make sure the cloves have not dried out, which happens. The best are the hardneck bulbs that look like they have sticks in the middle, the ones you might find in your CSA box, like these Chesnok Reds from last summer. They’re still firm and plump, though, when I cut off the tops, the green germ told me the cloves were trying to sprout. Read David Lebovitz’s post—he recently taste-tested sprouting garlic against garlic without the germ. For me, if garlic with the green center is all I have, I’m going to roast and enjoy. Robbie and I devoured these savory bulbs in the same time it takes to say olive oil.

Here’s an idea from Hip Pressure Cooking for roast garlic in less time–pressure cook garlic and follow with a quick broil for the roasted color/flavor.

Wishing you a fabulous week–get in the kitchen and cook something delicious!

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Easy Roasted Garlic and Crackers
Roasted Garlic–Best Casual Appetizer
Author: Letty Flatt
Ingredients
  • Garlic bulbs , as many as you want
  • Olive oil , as needed
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the top ¼ inch from the top of the bulb. Alternatively, separate the cloves from the bulb, and rub off the papery outer skins. Either way, place the garlic in a baking dish.
  2. (Or roast in aluminum foil. The sheet of foil needs to be large enough to fold over itself and the garlic.)
  3. Drizzle the garlic with olive oil. Add a couple of tablespoons of water. Cover tightly.
  4. Bake for about 1 hour, until the garlic is completely soft inside.

5 comments

  • KATHRYN DECKERT

    LETTY YOUR FOODIE EMAILS ARE LIKE A RAY OF SUNSHINE IN THIS DAMP SLOPPY WEATHER BACK HERE IN PARK CITY. MISS THOSE GLORIOUS DAYS OF SUNSHINE IN BAJA. KATHRYN Reply · 13 February, 2014

    • Letty

      Sending a ray of sunshine your way. Reply · 13 February, 2014

  • The other plus is how great your kitchen smells during the roasting. GREG Reply · 13 February, 2014

    • Letty

      You’re right Greg. Ah the stinking rose… Reply · 13 February, 2014

  • I roasted a few heads this week. One for a pasta sauce and the other for soup. It’s all I can do to not gobble it up straight from the oven! Reply · 14 February, 2014

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