Aside from the hole-in-the-wall taquerias, a restaurant I fondly remember going to in Los Angeles is a magical place where, as they proudly state, “the garlic is seasoned with the food.” The Stinking Rose, yes. After spending time inside the restaurant, your entire being evaporates garlic. For days. Their bagna calda appetizer is a miniature skillet full of roasted garlic so tender, it spreads like butter. I needed a fix, and I needed it right away. A 900-mile separation may exist between Portland and La Cienega Boulevard, but my oven is just a few feet away.
Roasting garlic is so easy, I can’t believe I’ve been buying it all these years. A clerk at New Seasons told me how to make it, but not before he implied disapproval that I even considered buying it pre-made. Portland attitude, at the “friendliest store in town.”
Enjoy it straight out of the pod, or atop crackers and goat cheese. Throw it on pizza, into a soup or use it as butter on a thick slice of crusty artisan bread. It’s ALL good!
whole garlic heads
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Cut the tops off the garlic heads and peel the outermost layers of the skin off, leaving the individual clove skins intact.
3. Pour a bit of oil over the tops of each clove, making sure each clove is oiled, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If using butter, place about 1/4 teaspoon on top of each head of garlic.
4. Loosely wrap with aluminum foil, and place in oven for 35-45 minutes.
5. Allow to cool, and carefully remove cloves from their pods. Some will come out easily; others may need help from a fork.
6. To marinate garlic for later use, place peeled, roasted cloves into a glass jar, cover with extra virgin olive oil, and store at refrigeration. A teaspoon of dried rosemary per 2-3 heads of garlic is a nice, but not necessary, addition.