Roasted Garlic with Pesto
We discovered roasted garlic while living in upstate New York. It was on the menu of the Bulls Head Inn, not far from our home. Orange County was surprisingly rural, despite having several hundred thousand residents. When I say rural, I mean large swaths were without city water, sewer and cable tv. I quickly pointed this out when locals attempted to make fun of the rubes from Kentucky, where we enjoyed all of those city services. But I digress.
We became hooked on roasted garlic, many times making a meal out of it and a glass of wine. When we returned to the south, it led to withdrawal in short order. This is my re-creation of this addictive and delectable starter.
Better Living Through Chemistry
Raw garlic contains many chemical compounds including sulfurous ones responsible for its sharp taste and smell. Roasting alters those compounds, transforming it into mellow, buttery caramelized morsels.
A Final Word
The Bulls Head Inn was our cozy oasis in wintertime. They are still there and roasted garlic is still on the menu, though it’s called a “throwback” now. I think that means I am much older than when I first enjoyed their hospitality.
- 1 large head of garlic
- Olive oil
- 1/2 french baguette
- Salted butter – softened
- 2 oz goat cheese – in a ramekin
- 2 oz pesto sauce – in a ramekin (get the recipe HERE)
- Preheat oven to 375
- Slice your baguette into 3/8″ slices on the bias (diagonally)
- Butter each slice and bake until lightly browned, but not crispy – about 5-8 minutes and set aside
- While baking the bread, peel the outer papery skin off the garlic head
- Expose the top of each clove using a paring knife and wrap the head with a piece of aluminum foil, leaving the top exposed
- Pour a tablespoon of olive oil over the garlic and take care that each clove is oiled
- Wrap and enclose the head and place in a small baking dish or muffin pan to keep it upright
- Bake for about 50-55 minutes
- Remove from the oven, carefully unwrap and serve with 4-5 crostini, pesto sauce and goat cheese