Weeknight Roasted Garlic
Weeknight Roasted Garlic
If you’re like me, you love garlic and how the savory bulb makes almost everything taste better. It’s one of my favorite flavors to cook with, whether I’m adding it to my pasta, bread, or chicken recipes.
Recently I discovered roasted garlic and it changed my whole approach of cooking with garlic. I’m in love with how the process of roasting garlic turns a head full of raw, pungent garlic into a mellow, creamy paste that enhances your dish without overwhelming it. But it takes an hour to properly roast garlic, so it’s hard to get your roasted garlic fix on a busy weeknight. What’s a cook to do?
If you want roasted garlic on a weeknight, you’ll have to do some prep work the night before. I take my Norpro Garlic Baker and soak the terracotta lid in water for ten minutes. While the terracotta lid is soaking I cut the top off a whole garlic bulb and drizzle olive oil and salt on top. When you roast garlic in a terracotta baker, make sure the oven is cold when you start roasting garlic. Sudden temperature changes can shatter the baker. Set oven at 350 degrees and bake it in the oven for 45-50 minutes. Let the garlic cool to room temperature before wrapping it up and storing it in the fridge overnight. The garlic is roasted and you’re all set for tomorrow’s dinner!
When it’s time to make dinner all you need to do is get the garlic from the fridge and use it according to the recipe.
Here are two delicious recipes that use roasted garlic and are a perfect weeknight dinner and side. Both recipes serve a family of four.
Equipment you will need: Norpro Garlic Baker
Overnight Garlic Focaccia Bread
1 whole head garlic, with the top cut off
5 tablespoons (75ml) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt, for seasoning
3 ¼ cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 tbsp kosher salt
½ tsp instant yeast
1 ½ cups minus 1 tbsp warm water
For the night before: Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Place head of garlic in the center of the garlic baker (make sure to soak before baking). Drizzle with 1 tablespoon (15ml) olive oil and season with salt and then transfer to oven. Roast until garlic is completely tender, about 45 minutes to an 1 hour. Remove from oven and refrigerate until ready to use the next day.
While the garlic is roasting, combine flour, salt, yeast, and water in a large bowl. (To account for rising, the bowl should be at least 4 to 6 times the volume of the dough.) Mix with hands or a wooden spoon until no dry flour remains.
Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, or in my case I used a large Bees Wrap, making sure that edges are well sealed, then let rest in the fridge for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Dough should rise dramatically and fill bowl.
In the morning:
Add 3 tablespoons (45ml) olive oil to a 12-inch cast iron skillet or large cake pan. Transfer dough to pan by tipping it out of the bowl in one large blob. Turn dough to coat in oil. Using a flat palm, press dough around skillet, flattening it slightly and spreading oil around the entire bottom and sides of pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or Bee’s Wrap and put the skillet in the fridge.
When you get home from work, preheat the oven to 550 degrees.
The dough should mostly fill skillet up to its edge. Remove the skillet and the garlic from the fridge and let it warm to room temperature. Use your fingertips to press it around until it fills every corner, popping any large bubbles that appear. Lift up one edge of dough to let any air bubbles underneath escape. Repeat, moving around dough, until no air bubbles are left underneath and dough is evenly spread around skillet. Peel roasted garlic cloves and break up large cloves into 2 or 3 pieces each. Scatter roasted garlic evenly over surface of dough, then push down on each clove until it is embedded in a deep well of dough.
Transfer skillet to oven and bake until top is golden brown and bubbly and bottom appears golden brown and crisp when you lift it with a thin spatula, 16 to 24 minutes. If bottom is not as crisp as desired, place pan on a burner and cook over medium heat, moving pan around to cook evenly, until bottom of focaccia is crisp, 1 to 3 minutes.
Transfer to a cutting board, allow to cool slightly, slice, and serve. Extra bread should be stored in a brown paper bag at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Adapted from Serious Eats
Roasted Garlic Spaghetti
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp parmesan
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 head garlic, with the top cut off
12 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
16 oz angel hair pasta
1/4 cup fresh basil packed and chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt & pepper to taste
For the night before:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle garlic with olive and season with salt. Place the head of garlic into the Norpro Garlic Baker. Bake until it is soft and fragrant, about an hour. Let the garlic cool before wrapping it up and placing it in the fridge.
Place a pan on the stove over medium heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil to the pan, followed by bread crumbs, parmesan and garlic powder. Toast until browned, stirring regularly so it doesn't burn. Remove from heat and set aside.
In the same pan, sauté the cherry tomatoes and rosemary in olive oil until the tomatoes blister. Season with salt and pepper.
Start a pot of water to boil for the angel hair. While tomatoes are cooking, add the pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente (8-10 minutes). Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water (the starchy water thickens the sauce and imparts extra flavor).
Place pasta pot back on the stove over low heat and add remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add cooked pasta, tomato/garlic mixture and basil to the pot and stir to combine. Add pasta water 1/4 cup at a time until sauce reaches desired consistency. Taste and add the lemon juice to brighten the dish and salt and pepper for taste. Top with toasted bread crumbs.
Adapted from This Savory Vegan
- Jackie Miller