Sunday, January 18, 2009

Technique Check - Roasting Garlic

I roasted three garlic heads today in preparation for the Spinach Marinara Lasagna, which will be the subject of an upcoming post (but which I'll tell you know involves THREE POUNDS OF TOFU, just to whet your appetite). Anyway, T&I suggest the roasted garlic variation for the marinara sauce, so I figured this was as good a chance as any to check their garlic-roasting technique.

If you haven't ever had roasted garlic, you should. Roasting it softens the cloves, and mellows the flavor out to a nice, soft sweetness. I had actually never roasted garlic before, but I did crosscheck the Veganomicon against Bittman just to see how much of a difference there was. I can report that the principle is the same, but that the Veganomicon's method is simpler.

Bittman is a little clearer, though. You start off by slicing the top off a head of garlic. And I'll bet I'm not the only one who actually wasn't completely certain which end was the top. Bittman tells you it's the pointy end...T&I assume you know this.

Then you pour just a little olive oil over the garlic head, and wrap it in aluminum foil.

You roast it by putting the little foil packets in the oven at 375 for 25-30 minutes. Just put them straight on the grates -- they'll be fine. The garlic gets super-fragrant before it's done, filling the kitchen with garlicky goodness.

Pull it out of the oven, and let it cool down till you can handle it. The cloves pop out of their skins easily, and they're soft and ready to spread on bread (like buttah! or margarine, whatever), throw into some hummus, or mix into a marinara sauce that has a hot date with THREE POUNDS OF TOFU. Did I mention the nutritional yeast in the lasagna? Mmmm.

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