I recently had a meal at an Italian restaurant where the flavor of Roasted Garlic stuck with me and I have been craving it ever since! I don't know why I don't make it more often, as it is so good and my friend Sharon once taught me her special way of making Roasted Garlic that I think is the best way out there. She tops the garlic with a big piece of Salted Butter and then surrounds it in Chicken Broth, covering it while it bakes in the oven. I think this is the most flavorful method of roasting garlic. I think the Chicken Broth makes it more savory. If you don't want to use Chicken Broth, I'm sure Vegetable Broth would be good too. Once the Roasted Garlic is done, there are so many things you can do with it. One of the best is to make it into a garlic spread to eat on top of crackers or toasted baguettes. It's also wonderful in mashed potatoes or other mashed root vegetables or as the base of a pasta sauce. You can use it as a base for a white pizza or as a pizza topping or mixed with mayo for a sandwich spread. It can be mixed with butter for a vegetable sauce or eaten straight out of the oven. Roasted Garlic gives you the flavor of Garlic in a luxurious sweet, smooth and mellow way. The magic is in how it caramelizes in the oven. The longer you cook the Roasted Garlic, the deeper the color and the milder the flavor. I like my Roasted Garlic to just start caramelizing as I think it has the most Garlic flavor at that point. Roasted Garlic is so easy to make and so delicious, it needs to be something I make much more often!
Sharon's Roasted Garlic
1 large head of Garlic
1 slice of Salted Butter
Chicken Broth - approximately 1/2 cup
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Wash the Garlic under warm running water and pull away most of the outer skin. Make sure to wash the root end thoroughly. Then take a sharp knife and cut off the top 1/4" of the top of the head of Garlic. Place in a small baking dish and put the slice of Butter on top of the cut side of Garlic. Pour Chicken Broth around the head of garlic until it comes halfway up the side. Cover and bake in the oven for 40 minutes for a small head of Garlic and 50 - 60 minutes for a large head. Cook until the center garlic clove is soft and the individual cloves start to brown and caramelize. Cool and use by pulling off each Garlic Clove and squeezing the Roasted Garlic out.
Five Element Analysis
Garlic belongs to the Metal Element and this cooked Garlic still retains some of it's pungent flavor, but because it cooks so long and gets so soft, it becomes an Earth food. The Butter contributes more of the Metal Element and the Chicken Broth brings in the Wood Element. Roasted Garlic certainly needs to be served with other foods, but adds a good amount of Metal and Earth when used as a flavoring in a meal.