Roasted Garlic: Entertaining on a Budget

If you prefer not to serve raw garlic to guests — it’s just a little too potent for your palate — here’s a suggestion. Roasted garlic offers a sweet and tasty alternative, and is simple and delicious to make (no special equipment required & just garlic and some foil). It makes an easy and impressive spread for breads, either as an appetizer or to make garlic bread, or it can be mixed into mashed potatoes or added to sour cream for a delicious dip or topping for baked potatoes. You’ll want to roast two or three garlic heads at a time to ensure that you have enough to go around. It’ll keep for a day or two in the refrigerator.

To make roasted garlic, cut off the top part of the garlic head (about 1/3 of the way down, exposing the tops of the cloves) and drizzle a little olive oil over it. Remove the outer papery covering of the garlic and wrap each garlic head individually in foil. Set the garlic heads on a square of foil, and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the garlic. When the garlic cloves feel very soft to the touch, it’s done.

Remove from the oven and let cool in foil. When it’s cool to the touch, unwrap the garlic heads and squeeze garlic cloves from skins into a medium bowl, either with your fingers or by slicing open the paper cloves and spooning it out. Mash the garlic with a fork, and use as desired.