Easy Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic is one of my favorite ingredients.  It’s a main staple around here, and luckily my hubby loves it too… or we might need counseling. ; )
I love to keep a good amount on hand in my freezer since I go through it quite a bit, but I have to admit sometimes I get tired of the sticky mess of squeezing the garlic out of skins like I have always done in my old recipe.

Once I was making appetizers for a church function for a couple hundred people, and I had the brilliant idea of making homemade baguettes with roasted garlic butter for one of the appetizers.  Only I thought I would buy the peeled garlic cloves and roast them that way.  I tossed them with a bit of olive oil and wrapped them in foil.  Into the oven they went to roast.. and then the smoke began.  The whole house was filled with garlicky smoke (not in a good way I might add!) and we were all coughing and tearing up.. I think we ended up eating out for dinner that night to get away from the smell!
When I saw this recipe I was doubtful it would work but I figured it was worth one more shot.  I’m so glad I tried it! Not only did the garlic come out perfectly, it was simple and easy and in the end I was left with some garlic infused olive oil that I have no problems finding a use for!  Check back tomorrow for an amazing use for both!

EASY ROASTED GARLIC

1/2 cup olive oil
1 pound peeled garlic cloves (about 3 cups) I buy a big bag at Costco
1/4 tsp salt
pinch pepper

Heat the oven 350 degrees.
Using an oven proof pan, heat the olive oil on the stovetop over medium high heat.  Add the garlic cloves, then season with salt and pepper.
When the cloves are lightly golden brown, put the pan in the oven.

Roast for about 20 minutes (more or less) or until they are browned.
Don’t over brown them, then they won’t mash.  You want them soft but still getting that roasting flavor from some browning.
Let cool, the remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.
Mash and store in the fridge for up to 1 week, or freeze for later use.
Reserve oil for use in sauteing, vinaigrettes, etc.

Recipe slightly adapted from Michael Chiarello

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