Whole Garlic Head Roasting
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Cut off the top of the garlic head. That’s the part with the long, thin garlic neck, not the flat root bottom. Don’t take too much of the top, just enough to expose the cloves.
Place the garlic heads into a small baking dish cut side up. You can use aluminum foil if you don’t have a baking dish. Brush or pour the olive oil over the exposed garlic heads and season with salt and pepper.
Cover the dish with its top if it has one or just use some aluminum foil. If you are only using aluminum foil, be careful not to poke any holes in it or the oil can get messy.
Transfer the garlic heads to the oven and roast for 35 to 45 minutes.
Remove the garlic from the oven and let it cool. When it is cool enough to handle, squeeze the bottom of the heads and the garlic will ooze out the cut tops.
Remove all the garlic from the cloves and either use a blender to puree or just use the side of a chefs knife to smash the cloves into a puree. Be very careful not to cut yourself.
To store, add puree to container that you can tightly cover, think glass jar, and refrigerate for up to a week.
Individual Garlic Clove Roasting
Preheat the oven to 250ºF.
Separate the cloves of garlic from the head. I’ll either try pulling them off with my hands or sometimes put a head in a dish towel, grab all four corners and give it a whack on the counter.
You are not going to peel the garlic cloves but do remove any of the outer papery skin. Individually, cut the stem end off each glove of garlic with a paring knife.
Lay out a sheet of aluminum foil and center the garlic cloves on it. Brush or use your fingers to coat each clove with oil. See why I like the first method better?
Season with a little salt and pepper. Fold the aluminum foil to make a little pouch for each head of garlic so you end up with three individual pouches.
Place the pouches on a sheet pan and transfer to oven. Roast the garlic at this lower temperature for about an hour. Remove from oven, carefully open the pouches until cool enough to handle.
Squeeze each clove from the uncut end of the clove and the garlic will slide out of the skin in one beautiful piece from the cut end.
Again, transfer to a blender to puree or use the side of the knife technique to make a flavorful garlic puree.