Lani Telian, Department of Public Health
Growing up, my dad tried to give me a healthy dose of garlic every day. Not because of its sulfur-containing powers, or because it may boost our immune systems and help prevent infections and certain cancers. Instead, he wanted me eating as much garlic as possible to “keep the boys away” for as long as he could.
Whether it was part of their plan to keep me single or not, garlic was in most of the meals my family ate. Now that I have my own kitchen, I add garlic to most of my dishes too. Sometimes after catching a whiff of my breath, I regret it. Most of the time, the flavor it gives the food makes bad breath totally worth it.
As much as I love using garlic, I’ve always been a little nervous to try roasting it – mostly because I never learned how.
In honor of CDC’s vegetable of the month, I am setting out to roast my first head of garlic! For those of you who have never roasted garlic but always wanted to, join me in my long-overdue quest.
Seems like there are many different ways to cut garlic for roasting: cut off the bottom, cut off the top, leave it whole, break apart each clove separately, etc. I found the most common way is to slice off the tops, so that’s what I did. Then, place the garlic head on a square piece of aluminum foil, drizzle olive oil over the top, and sprinkle a small amount salt.
Fold the foil around the garlic, and place on an oven rack for about 35-40 minutes. I kept mine in the oven for 35 minutes at 400°F, but I think the garlic would have been softer if I cooked it a little longer, maybe at a slightly lower temperature.
Despite my time and temperature issues, it still tasted delicious – even on a plain piece of wheat bread. Now that I’ve conquered my fear, I’m excited to start using roasted garlic in new, healthy recipes for hummus, roasted garlic soup, or even this delicious recipe for a slow-roasted garlic chicken.
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