A few people love garlic raw, some love it fried, and some love it roasted with that mellowed flavor and aroma. Among the best varieties of garlic you might use for roasting is the purple striped Guatemalan, but you may use whatever garlic is available in your kitchen.
A marvelous transformation goes on when you roast garlic. Its bite is muted as the slow cooking process zaps its sulphuric compounds. The innate sugars come out and the hard cloves are transmuted into a soft, squishy, and spreadable chunk of goodness. After the baking or roasting procedure, the garlic cloves can be squeezed out of with your fingers. What emerges is a buttery flesh of garlic entirely transformed for your enjoyment.
Here are various ways to roast your garlic:
1) IN A TERRA COTTA COOKER
1. Lightly rub off numerous layers of the papery outer cover of the garlic head by using your thumb. Slice at least a quarter inch off the top of every head, exposing the meaty part of each clove. By using a fork, prick the tops of the cloves.
2. Place the heads of garlic on the base of the terra cotta (preferably about 7 inches in diameter to hold at least five or more bulbs) and pour olive oil over the tops of each head being sure to cover each and every clove. Add a little salt and pepper to taste, or fresh dried herbs of your choice. Right away, cover with the lid.
3. Constantly follow the instructions of your terra cotta cooker. Place the covered up cooker in a cold oven. Turn the temperature to 300 degrees. Bake for at least an hour or until the cloves have gotten soft. Pull out the lid, and bake for 20minutes more or till the tops of the cloves turn brown.
4. Serve one head of roasted garlic for each person while it is still warm.
2) HIGH HEAT METHOD
1. Put some partly peeled, top sliced off, garlic head on an oven safe pan. Gently brush with olive oil and bathe with water or stock.
2. On a pre-heated oven of about 500 degrees, leave the pan in for 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool and serve. This process results in a more nutty flavored roasted garlic
3) BOY SCOUT METHOD (even a child can do this)
1. Utilizing partly peeled , top sliced off, garlic heads (1-3 pieces, depends on how much you need for the occasion) put on aluminum foil.
2. Fold up the edges of the foil to prevent spilling the oil
3. Drizzle the revealed tops of cloves with olive oil. Add salt and/or pepper to taste.
4. Wrap the foil around the garlic heads but be sure you leave the top open. This is to brown the tops and avoid steaming the garlic.
5. Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees. Put in the garlic heads and leave for 30-45 minutes
6. No fancy cookware necessary, clean up is a real breeze. The outcome is much closer to the ones cooked in a terra cotta cooker.
4) NO SPECIAL TREATMENT
1. Take a whole head of garlic, unpeeled and uncut.
2. Put inside an oven at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
3. This will result in a somewhat blackened spots on your garlic but would be very soft. You'll need a spoon to draw out the flesh since the result is a much stickier garlic than the other processes mentioned.
5) NO-WASTE METHOD
1. Peel extra skin on the garlic head. Cut the head into half along the width
2. In a little oven glass dish, pour olive oil. Place garlic head, placing the cut side on top of oil
3. Cook for an hour at 350 degrees or till cloves are spongy.
6) DETACHED CLOVE METHOD
1. Break up the garlic head into single cloves. Take away excess skin
2. Place the cloves in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil. No need to put plenty olive oil since the strong garlic flavor will overcome it anyway. The idea here is to coat the cloves equally with the oil, not swim on it.
3. Put the cloves in a single layer, on a parchment lined baking sheet
4. Bake for twenty minutes making sure it doesn't burn. Check on it every five minutes. When the clove gives below your finger when you press down on it, it is set to be served. It is known that this technique gives a higher yield as compared to the whole head process, where some of the cloves don’t even emerge.