Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. I love garlic in all its forms. Roasted garlic for it’s sweet, mellow, creamy, nutty flavor. You can toss with pasta, or in a salad dressing, spread it on bread, add it to potatoes, garnish a roasted chicken, use it to add depth to a sauce, the list goes on and on…This spread, each bite is pure heaven. And if you too are a garlic lover, the aroma of the thyme and the garlic cloves as they roast in the over may just leave you in heavenly state of awe.
Roasted garlic is so wonderfully simple to prepare. All you need to do is chop off the tops, drizzle it with olive oil, wrap it up tight, and toss it in the oven. Voila! Roasting it in a baking dish with a little more olive oil and some herbs creates a wonderfully herb and garlic-infused oil, which can be used on it own or blended with the cloves to make a lovely spread. So don’t think about skimping on the oil, pour generously.
THYME-INFUSED ROASTED GARLIC SPREAD
2 large heads garlic
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8-10 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425°F / 200°C.
2. Cut off and discard about 1 cm from tops of garlic heads, making sure that all cloves are exposed. Put garlic in a baking dish with the olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper and cover with a double layer of aluminum foil. Crimp the edges tightly.
3. Roast until the garlic bulbs are golden and tender, about 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
4. When garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze cloves into a bowl (the cloves will pop right out of the paper skin when squeezed – and if you are impatient like I am then use a couple forks to hold and squeeze out the flesh).
5. Pour the oil through a fine-mesh sieve onto garlic. Mash well with a fork and season with salt.
6. Serve with ciabatta bread.