alters the texture
of regular garlic, giving it a whole bunch of different uses. Instead of the firm, crisp
texture of fresh cloves, it's soft, with a consistency similar to butter. The flavor is also much milder
, and gains a slight sweet
note to it.
To Roast Garlic:
Take a head of garlic, and remove the dry skin from around the head. You don't want to remove all of the skin off of the cloves too, just remove as much from the head as you can easily do.
Take each head of garlic, and cut off the top, about 1/4 inch worth. You want to expose the flesh of the cloves at the top.
Drizzle olive oil - preferrably extra virgin olive oil, on top of the garlic - about 2 teaspoons worth of oil per head. Depending on the planned use for the roasted garlic, you might feel free to toss a little pepper, basil, or thyme on top.
Take each head of garlic, and wrap then up in aluminum foil, and place inside a baking dish or garlic roasting dish. Bake at 400 degrees for between 30 minutes to an hour - you want the cloves to feel nice and soft.
When done, allow the heads to cool for a bit, to make sure they're not too hot to handle safely.
An average size head of garlic will yield about 1 tablespoon of garlic paste. It will keep safely in the fridge for about a week, and may be frozen for longer periods.
Using Roast Garlic:
While it makes a great spread, to put directly on bread while warm, there is a lot more you can do. The paste can be added into other foods to enhance the flavor. Mashed Potatoes, rice, and beans are all enhanced with roasted garlic stirred in. Mixing it with butter creates a nice garlic butter that goes well over fish.
Adding a little into some bread/biscuit dough will add a nice hint of garlic flavor to the resulting baked good. The mellow flavor has even been used in a roasted garlic ice cream.
In general, it can be used anywhere that garlic is called for, for a milder variant on the flavor.
Anthropod has a wonderful suggestion - "toss cooked pasta with roasted garlic, olive oil, and freshly grated parmesan. Linguini is excellent this way. Yum!"