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Roasted Garlic

“There is no such thing as a little garlic”
     - Arthur Baer (b. 1886)

We had so much garlic left over from a Halloween party one year I decided to make this recipe- and now it is a staple in our home!

So Simple yet soooh Good!

Whole Garlic Bulbs
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Coarse Black Pepper
Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Take a whole bulb of garlic and place it on the counter on its side.
The flat end of the garlic should be facing the hand that is holding it.
With a very sharp knife cut the pointed end off (approx.1 ½ cm.) so the flesh is exposed evenly.
Arrange the bulbs in a shallow baking dish.
Drizzle a little oil evenly over each bulb.
Top with pepper and a dash of sea salt.
Bake uncovered for approx. 25 mins. or until soft and golden.
Remove from the oven and turn cooked bulbs over flesh side down in dish for 10 mins. to absorb the oil.

Serving suggestions:

Squeeze soft garlic out of skins and spread on meat or breads.
Present whole aside meat entrees.
I use Roasted Garlic alone as an appetizer, the cloves slip out easily simply by using a cocktail fork, my guests always enjoy the delicate and sweet taste which leaves them longing for the next course.

As a variation try dried thyme or oregano instead of salt and pepper

Did you know that garlic is related to the lily family? Garlic is not only a well known food flavoring; it is one of the most seductive and satisfying of all seasonings.

The mystique of garlic is multifaceted. Whether cooked, raw or in extract form garlic may be one of the most potent natural healing foods we have.

Surprisingly enough the use of garlic for therapeutic purposes dates back to Sanskrit records approximately 5,000 years ago. The Chinese used garlic as far back as 3,000 years ago and ancient Egyptian medical records make reference to garlic dating from 1550 B.C. Even the mighty Roman gladiators were aware of the specific nutritive value of garlic. They took it to increase their strength and stamina and sure enough, science has uncovered the reason why. Garlic contains 8 essential amino acids and over 18 different sulfur compounds. It is an excellent source of germanium and selenium, both of which are powerful antioxidants. The pungency of garlic comes from allicin; just one of the many active components that makes garlic so valuable to the body.

Garlic is classified as a Febrifuge (fever reducer or preventer ), Vermifuge ( human body worm expeller), Sudorific (sweat producer), Diuretic ( fluid excretion promoter) and Antibiotic ( bacteria inhibitor or destroyer). Researchers believe that garlic can bolster the immune system, lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease, and at least some people believe that it can ward off vampires and insects.

Cloves and heads vary in size and color. There is both red or mauve and white garlic.

The three general types of garlic cloves commonly used in preparing food are: standard garlic, used raw or cooked; elephant garlic, which is milder and can also be used raw as well as cooked; and garlic chives, interchangeable with regular chives.

Garlic is used as a savory seasoning for almost every course of a meal. The method of cooking determines the flavor. When cooking garlic in butter or oil, use low heat as burnt cloves have a bitter taste, whole garlic cloves have a milder flavor, while crushed garlic has the strongest. Aromatic and almost bitter when raw, garlic becomes delicate and sweet when cooked, while boiled in a dish gives it a very mild taste. Its strong smell and flavor are weakened by blanching, but one can also use it so subtly that one may find friends claiming to dislike it while unwittingly enjoying it.

“No cook who has attained mastery over her craft ever apologizes for the presence of garlic in her production”.

     - Ruth Gottfried, The Questing Cook (1927)

Look for fresh garlic heads that are plump and firm. It is best purchased as a whole head of dry garlic and no more than you will use in 1 or 2 weeks. Garlic stored in the open air for any length of time loses much of its pungency. Store heads of garlic in a cool, dark, dry place. Garlic that becomes bland or starts to sprout is still useable as a seasoning, though milder. I have never done this but I’ve been told you can peel and drop the cloves either whole or chopped into olive oil and refrigerate for up to 3 months. Cloves that have been sliced or chopped and dried store well in a tightly sealed container for 4 to 6 months.

Fresh parsley helps prevent garlic odour on the breath. To remove the odour from the hands, rub hands with salt or lemon juice and rinse under cold water.
“A little garlic, judiciously used, won’t seriously affect your social life and will tone up more dull dishes than any commodity discovered to date”

     - Alexander Wright, How to Live Without a Woman (1937)