One of my favorite things in the world is roasted garlic. There's nothing more delicious than warm, freshly baked garlic right out of the oven. It's a healthy alternative to butter when spread on bread. It also works great in dips, on crackers, tossed with pasta, or eaten all by itself. Your dinner guests will be amazed at your startling culinary skills and the great thing is it's one of the easiest things to prepare.
So what tools do you need to roast garlic? All you need is a head of garlic and some tinfoil. Or, you can buy a terra cotta garlic roaster. They also now sell electric garlic roasters. I haven't tried the latter, so I can't say how well they work. The benefit of the terra cotta roasters versus tinfoil is that the terra cotta can be placed in the microwave whereas placing tin foil in the microwave will start a fire. (See this link for a video demonstration of what can happen if you put tinfoil in the microwave and what can happen if men are left unsupervised in the kitchen for any length of time). I'm not a fan of microwave cooking but sometimes you need to get the job done fast.
If baking in the oven, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Preparing the garlic: Remove excess paper from the head of garlic, but leave the head intact. Slice off the top 1/4 inch of the head so that the tops of each clove are exposed. Place cut side up on a square of tinfoil or in the garlic roaster. Next, drizzle some olive oil over the exposed cloves. Sprinkle herbs and seasonings to your taste. If you like things a bit spicy, as I do, try sprinkling a bit of cayenne pepper over the garlic. Or, try paprika. A dash of salt also adds great flavor.
If baking in tinfoil, wrap the foil around the head of garlic and place in a baking dish and into the oven. If using a terra cotta garlic roaster, place the cover on the roaster and place in oven. Bake at 350 degress for about 45 minutes. If microwaving, place terra cotta baker in microwave and heat on high for one minute. You may need to experiment with the timing depending on your microwave.
Allow to cool just enough to handle the garlic, then squeeze each clove to pop out the softened garlic. Enjoy!