You hear it all the time.
You have to “layer flavors” when you’re cooking. Well, what the heck does that mean? Load up on ingredients? Add tons of spices?
Layering flavors can easily mean coaxing out the natural sugars in a food, heightening a specific aspect of an ingredient’s flavor profile, and/or leveraging the entire range of flavors within an ingredient with different cooking methods or timing. The point is, there’s way more to every ingredient that we think, and it’s up to us to discover those layers and add them to our repertoire!
One of my favorite things to layer on flavor is roasting garlic. It’s an incredibly easy way to calm the pungency of garlic and lift amazingly sweet and deep richness out of those nuggets of gold. You can do this way ahead of time and store it in the fridge to add to soups, make spreads, throw into a quick sauté – you name it.
Roasted garlic helps you get fancy with flavors without getting fancy in the kitchen or fancy with your calorie intake. Two heads of roasted garlic average about 200 calories total, and you’re not using an entire head per recipe most of the time (although you could). And, think about it. You divvy up the calories when making a recipe per serving. So, it’s all good.
2 Garlic Heads, whole
1 TBS Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 400°.
Take your garlic heads and hinge the stem ends off the top, going down about 1/3 of the way. If you cut the top off completely, no worries. I just don’t like wasting that bit; so, I keep them attached.
Place the two garlic heads on an 8×8″ square piece of foil. Size is approximate – just make sure you’re able to seal up the package. Then, drizzle the olive oil over the open surface of the garlic heads, making sure you get into every crevice, including the top hinged piece. Then, close up the top.
Close up the foil around the garlic heads and seal loosely. No need to squash it to bits. Just, close it up so the heat stays inside the pouch. Then, place the foil package on a sheet pan or use any baking dish (loaf pan for me). Place in the oven and roast for approximately 30 minutes or until you can smell the amazingly sweet, garlic aroma coming from the kitchen.
Remove the foil package carefully and unwrap. Allow the garlic heads to cool for about 10 minutes. Easily remove the garlic by squeezing the root side to release those soft, unctuous little nuggets of roasted garlic from their jackets.
I used mine this week in an absolutely incredible spinach chicken sausage, kale, and white bean soup! And, I also spread them on the crostini and added Parmesan cheese as the finishing touch. Delicious!
Let me know how you use your roasted garlic!
LET’S KEEP IT REAL: First and foremost, I do everything for the love of food. Most of what I write about is because I love it! If I don’t love it, I tell you about that, too. From time to time, I may receive monetary or product compensation for mentioning products, offering recommendations, providing endorsements, or including links to products or services when I blog. While that may be the case for some posts, it is not the case for all. When it’s sponsored, you’ll see #sponsored when I post. When I’m just sharing the love, I won’t use that particular tag or hashtag. What you need to know is that I only give shout outs when I actually use the product or love it so much it deserves a shout out, sponsored or not.