This is a super-basic recipe to have in your arsenal that can be used in a million ways. It’s essentially roasted garlic with the added benefit of garlic-flavored oil to use however you want.
Whole garlic heads are slow-roasted with herbs and lots of olive oil until they are sweet and meltingly soft and tender. You can use them anywhere you would use roasted garlic…pastas, potatoes, sauces, sandwich spreads are the better for it! Store the cloves in the olive oil to keep them moist and continue to flavor the oil-or strain for immediate use! Just keep the oil in the refrigerator or in a dark, cool place until you need it.
Yield: about 1/2 cup mashed garlic
Inspiration: Garlic Confit on marthastewart.com
4 large heads of garlic
6 thyme sprigs
Extra-virgin olive oil, to cover
Preheat the oven to 275°. Remove the top third of each garlic head to expose the garlic cloves and place cut-side-down in a small baking dish (the smallest you have!). Add the thyme sprigs and enough olive oil to come up about 2/3 of sides of the garlic heads. Transfer to the oven and bake until the garlic is light brown and very soft, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to sit until the oil has cooled completely. Transfer to a lidded container and store at room temperature; squeeze the garlic cloves out of the skins whenever you want to use them. You can strain the oil to use for anything where garlic oil might be useful!