Sunday, March 18, 2012

Roasted Garlic

Being of the Italian descent, one of my most favorite alliums to cook with is garlic. It is a close relative to the onion, shallot, leek, chives just to name a few. I don't think I can cook a dish without including garlic, some form, whether it is a whole clove, minced, sliced, chopped...I am guessing you get the picture. Every so often, when the grocery stores cooperate, the hubs and I will stock up on a few bulbs and actually roast the garlic. There are a few ways to roast these little babies, the three most common being the grill, oven and crock-pot, but ultimately what you get is a savory little morsel that melts over a piece of crusty bread like butter....*sigh*....just thinking about it now makes my mouth water. Where we are located, I don't have the pleasure of getting too many different kinds, just your normal bulb of white garlic, and recently (within the last couple of years) elephant garlic and black garlic. For those of you who are not familiar with black garlic, they actually spend time fermenting the garlic and what you end up with is just pure heaven. But I digress.

Yesterday we went to The Wedge, which is a local Co-op in Uptown Mpls.  I found these absolutely beautiful bulbs of garlic. When you are roasting garlic, you want to make sure you get fairly large bulbs, otherwise you will have small cloves, and trying to get them out of their encasing could be more trouble than it is worth. You also end up with garlic infused extra virgin olive oil that you can use for your cooking which gives your cooking just that little hint of something wonderful!

3 bulbs of garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I use my small crock-pot for this, only because I just decided to purchase 5 bulbs for my endeavor. I could have done more, but ultimately you don't want to keep the garlic in the refrigerator for too long once you have made these. Slice the tops off of the bulbs, not too deep, but just enough to expose the garlic cloves.

In your crock-pot, you have two choices, you can either place the garlic bulbs face down, so the cloves are submerged in the extra virgin olive oil, or you can place them face up, but every so often you will need to baste them with the olive oil. I chose to place my face down in the olive oil. Pour in enough olive oil to cover the bulbs about half way up. Do not submerge them. Set the crock-pot to medium-low until the oil just starts to simmer, then turn it down to low. Let cook for about 5 hours.