Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, roasted garlic accompanied more meals than less. It always seemed to be on the table next to an incredible crusty hunk of bread. Not a frequent occurrence these days, but a must for any pizza party. As I’ve cooked more and more with the Forno Bravo I am loving utilizing the heat up and cool down times for cooking beyond pizza. Here is another quick and easy recipe to utilize the heat up period of your oven.
3 heads garlic
2 tblspn butter
1 tblspn olive oil
5 sprigs thyme
Trim the tops of the garlic off so that the majority, if not all, of the cloves are exposed, about 1/3 of the way down. Set tops aside for later use (see garlic butter recipe below). Place the heads of garlic on a sheet of aluminum foil. Smear the butter over the exposed cloves, drizzle with olive oil, season with the salt and pepper and place the thyme on top. Roll the foil up over the garlic and pinch the ends of the rolls. Place in the front corner of the oven. It’s best to roast the garlic when your fire is starting and the hearth is approximately 350 – 400 degrees and the dome 600-700 degrees. At that temperature, the garlic takes 20-30 minutes. Remove the foil pack with garlic from the oven and unroll the foil. Garlic should be a deep golden color and soft to the touch.
Let cool for 10 minutes. Gently squeeze from the root end of the garlic; the garlic cloves should slide out for use. Use cloves whole or use the back of a knife to mash and smooth garlic into a paste.
For an added bonus, take the garlic tops you trimmed earlier and place in a small saucepot or skillet. Add 1 cup (two sticks) of butter and over low heat bring butter to a soft simmer. Add a liberal pinch of salt and continue to cook until some of the butter solids brown, about 5 minutes. This will add a great nutty flavor. Remove from the heat and let steep for an additional 10 minutes. Strain the butter and store in a covered container in the refrigerator up to two weeks. Use butter as you normally would and enjoy the kick of garlic. Or, keep a little ready to brush on the crust of your pizza as it comes out of the oven.
Hope you enjoy. Until next week, feast well – Chef Bart