We just got home from a delightful weekend visiting my brother in Santa Cruz. One of the things I love about driving up north is passing through Gilroy and other California farm towns. When you open your windows in Gilroy, the strong, wonderful scent of garlic is in the air, and there are signs for fresh-picked garlic, strawberries and cherries about every 100 yards.
I was super excited to stop at one of the cute farm “markets” to get some of wonderful produce! My 5-year old said he wanted to get out of the car with me to choose something — he was sort of disappointed when he realized that this “market” didn’t sell toys or pastries. However, he got over it quickly when he tasted a gorgeous, bright red strawberry that had just come out of the ground. Yum! We bought a flat! My cute little guy also choose the biggest, most beautiful bag of garlic!
Roasted garlic is without question one of my favorite foods — it’s simply divine! And roasting also happens to be one of my favorite cooking techniques. I love slowly drawing out the natural sugars and flavors of foods. Delicious!
Roasting will often intensify flavors. For example, oven-roasted tomatoes will become incredibly sweet and rich. Interestingly, when you roast garlic, the flavor does the opposite — it mellows out! It goes from sharp and pungent to sweet, creamy and unbelievably aromatic. Roasted garlic is an ingredient in many recipes, and it’s also fantastic on its own, spread over crusty bread. It’s dreamy! (And please, don’t get me wrong, I also love the strong flavor of raw, biting garlic!)
Since its existence, garlic has offered dozens of health benefits, so many that it’s often called a “cure-all” food. Garlic Central is a great resource to learn more about why to love and eat lots of garlic!
And there’s another benefit of roasting garlic — the amazing aroma that will fill your home! This is, of course, great weekend cooking!