Roasted garlic is an easy and affordable way to add a savory boost to almost any meal. The long, slow cooking mellows the garlic’s bite and leaves rich, deep flavor and silky texture in its place. This recipe keeps for two weeks — double it and bring a jar to a friend or neighbor. It will be much appreciated.
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Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 1/4 hour
Yield: Makes 2 cups
- 1 pound garlic (6 to 8 heads, depending upon size)
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Using a serrated knife, slice off top quarter of garlic heads, exposing as many cloves as possible. Arrange garlic heads, cut side up, in an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish (make sure garlic heads sit flat).
2. Season garlic with salt and pepper and sprinkle with thyme. Slowly pour oil over each head, letting it soak into and around cloves. Cover dish tightly with foil and roast until cloves are golden, completely soft and begin to protrude slightly from skins, about 1 hour. Let stand until cool enough to handle.
3. From the bottom up, squeeze each head to push out cloves (peel skins from any completely enclosed cloves). Transfer garlic and cooking oil to an airtight container. (Garlic will keep, refrigerated, up to 2 weeks.)
Nutrition information per serving (1/4 cup): 168 calories, 11 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat), 16 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 1 grams fiber and 59 percent calories from fat.
Quick ideas for roasting garlic
▪ Mix into mashed potatoes.
▪ Use in place of mayonnaise on your favorite sandwich.
▪ Toss into steamed vegetables like broccoli.
▪ Add to creamy dressings, vinaigrettes or dip.
Roasted garlic bread
Serves 6 to 8
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mash 1/2 cup roasted garlic and 1 tablespoon roasted garlic cooking oil to a coarse paste with a fork.
2. Split 1 loaf rustic French or Italian bread horizontally and spread garlic paste evenly on cut sides. Season generously with coarse salt and ground pepper.
3. Place bread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until garlic is golden and edges of bread are crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into wedges for serving.
Nutrition information per serving (based on 8): 219 calories, 6 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 36 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams protein, 2 grams fiber and 25 percent calories from fat.
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Garlic and chive dip
Serves 6 to 8
1. In a food processor, process 1/2 cup roasted garlic until smooth.
2. Add 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt and 3 tablespoons milk; process until smooth.
3. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Top with more chives.
Nutrition information per serving (based on 8): 125 calories, 9 grams fat (4 grams saturated fat), 7 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, trace of fiber and 65 percent calories from fat.
Garlic-stuffed roasted chicken
1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, roughly mash 3/4 cup roasted garlic with a fork. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper.
2. Rinse 1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds) inside and out, and pat dry. Gently slip your fingers between skin and meat of breast, thighs and legs to loosen skin. Evenly spread mashed garlic under skin, starting with leg and thigh area, and working your way back toward the neck. Generously season chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Tuck wing tips underneath chicken and tie legs together with kitchen twine.
3. Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet or roasting pan on high. Add 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, swirl to coat skillet, then add chicken. Cook 1 minute, then transfer skillet to oven. Roast chicken until skin is deep golden brown and juices run clear when pierced between breast and leg (an instant-read thermometer should read 160 degrees when inserted in thickest part of a thigh, avoiding bone), 40 to 45 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before carving.
Nutrition information per serving: 609 calories, 37 grams fat (9 grams saturated fat), 12 grams carbohydrates, 54 grams protein, 1 gram fiber and 55 percent calories from fat.