Sunday, January 1, 2012

How-To Roast Garlic (and thus Spinach n' Garlic Pasta)

Welcome 2012!

That's my festive otter for River Otter Post.  He likes to par-tay!

Let me start the year off with not so much a recipe, but a recipe for an ingredient... if that makes any sense.  Roasted Garlic.  Delicious, easy, and makes most garlic-using-recipes better.  Like pizza.  Mmmm.... Now I want roasted garlic pizza...


1. Buy a lot of garlic.  Heat your oven to 400F.

2. Remove the outer flaky parts of the garlic intended for roasting. Just remove the parts that comes off easily when rubbed, you don't want to peel anything.

3. Hack off the tops.
Like so:

4.  Wrap the garlic in individual foil packets, but don't close them up just yet.

5. Drizzle on about 1 tsp or so of oil into each packet, drying to drizzle evenly.  Luckily I had about 8 foil packets to get this shot!

6. Bundle up and bake for a long time.  From about 45-60 minutes.  I tend to let them bake longer to make sure they are really roasted.

7. Optional step... I hate wasting food so I peel the hacked-off tips and bake those with some oil alongside the foiled heads.  Ha, foiled heads...

8. I also check the garlic packets after the first 45 or so minutes to see if they are browning enough for my liking.  When they have, they should look all sorts of caramelized and delicious.  Open the packets and let them cool about 15 minutes.

9. Fun part!  Squeeze the garlic out of the baked skins, it'll be soft and awesome.  You'll get dirty, but it's worth it.
I actually got some assistance in taking these photos :-)

Squeeze into a container that you don't care if it smells like garlic for a long time afterwards.

Not much you can do with the hollow skins.  They look cool though...

And now, for a quick recipe!

2 servings

4 oz pasta of choice, I went with linguine
4 cups baby spinach
2 tsp oil
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 TBS roasted garlic (for this one I used the clove tops that roasted alongside the... foiled heads!)
sprinkle of salt

1. Put the spinach in an oven safe dish.  Have your oven at 400F and put on a pot of water to boil for the pasta.

2. Drizzle with the olive oil and mix it up by hand.

3. Roast in the oven at 400F for about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, chop up the basil...
...and make the pasta...

4.  Remove the spinach from the oven and stir.  It will continue to wilt after removing so don't cook it til it's insanely mushy in the oven.

5. Layer pasta on the base of a bowl... with spinach...
...follow up with garlic...
...and mix in some basil!
Very simple.  The combo of roasted garlic and spinach is always strong. Yummy!

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