The fall foliage season has come to a halt―once brightly colored leaves have turned to the shades of the earth. Crumbling, they blanket fields and roadsides. Gone is the brilliant stimulation for the eyes―it has been replaced by a sense of quiet and calm. Thus, we move forward and inward. A carved pumpkin on the doorstep, alongside richly colored mums and the cleanly stacked woodpile, is there to say goodbye to fall. It is our family’s ambassador to welcome the winter ahead. I relish this time when we light dark nights with a fire, reflect on life’s inevitable transformations, cook slow fragrant meals for my family. Magic.
This Sweet andFragrant Roasted Garlic is a wonderful staple to have on hand during the cold, dark seasons. With an abundance of garlic coming homing with our farm share, we have more than enough to ward off vampires and goblins. (Hurrah, just in time for Halloween!) Sweet andFragrant Roasted Garlic is another story, more like something to awaken Snow White or to make it worth the climb up the tower to Rapunzel. The recipe couldn’t be simpler: a whole head of garlic is drizzled with olive oil, lightly salted, placed in the oven in a protective pouch for 45 minutes or so. The result is sublime. Opening the pouch releases a heavenly aroma, the once bitter cloves pop out of their delicate skins as sweet, softened bits of heaven ready to spread on fresh bread or toss with pasta or other roasted vegetables. Garlic prepared this way keeps well in the refrigerator and will be a welcome addition to practically any winter meal you put on the table. (See recipe notes for suggested uses.)
I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, gathering flavors, soon.
P.S. Please take a look at my last Fall Foliage Season 2013 photos. It was an amazing year!
SWEET & FRAGRANT ROASTED GARLIC
Yield: 2 heads garlic
- 2 heads fresh garlic
- 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt
- Red pepper flakes (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Cut off the top of the garlic to expose the cloves. Remove any loose skin but leave the garlic head otherwise whole. Place on top of a large sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and red pepper flakes, if using.
- Wrap the foil or parchment paper loosely around the garlic. Seal tightly.
- Bake until the cloves are softened, about 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Allow to cool slightly, then squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins.
- Use immediately. Or, place in a glass jar and cover with more olive oil. Seal the jar. The cloves will keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
- Spread the softened cloves on toast.
- Toss with cooked pasta and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- Use as a topping for pizza or an ingredient in homemade bread.
- Add to an omelet.
- Purée the cloves with some fresh herbs to create a pesto.
- Add to soup or a salad.
You can add roasted garlic to the following Gathering Flavors recipes:
- Simple Roasted Asparagus (use as a topping)
- Autumn Red Bean Soup (sliver on top at serving time)
- Brown Rice Pilaf with Braised greens (toss with the cooked rice)
- Fragrant Onion Rolls (split rolls and toast lightly. spread insides with garlic and add your favorite sandwich fillings such as roasted meats, greens or sliced cheese)
- Harvest Vegetable Stacks (place between layers)
- Market Morning Salad (toss with salad)
- Savory Parmesan Scones (spread on warm scones and serve)
- Tacos with Spring Greens, Grilled Shrimp and Cilantro Vinaigrette (toss with shrimp before adding to taco)