Roasted garlic,a free pass into a world of condiments
Roasted Garlic and Avocado Toast,(recipe below)
"A condiment is a spice, sauce, or preparation (such as onions) that is added to food to impart a specific flavour, to enhance the flavour, or, in some cultures, to complement the dish. The term originally described pickled or preserved foods, but its meaning has changed over time".Being a loyal and faithful cook,my garlic press is the "chosen one" But if I ever do find myself stranded on a garlic-growing desert island with just a match, some tin foil and a pan of water, I'm just about fickle enough to survive and cook the next meal,without it.
I love my garlic press,I do; in fact, it is probably my one true desert island gadget. But I'm happy to put it aside whenever the smell and sweet taste of slow-cooked garlic is called for.
We all know garlic can overpower a dish with its pungent, sometimes spicy flavour, but with a quick sit in the oven garlic takes on a whole new quality of rich, sweet, melt-in-your-mouthness. I love to use roasted garlic in homemade pesto, garlic butter, or stirred together with olive oil and brushed onto bread to make bruschettas, or tossed into pasta. In fact, there’s really no wrong way to use it.You can put it on spoons.Wait, who said spoons? Feeling poorly? That’s okay. Roasted garlic cures all ailments.With a spoon, so you can spoon feed yourself this delicious unctious paste.You´ll be on the road to recovery in next to no time.
As the garlic roasts in the oven, it becomes extremely mild. So mild, in fact, that you can eat it plain. It becomes soft, buttery, slightly sweet, with a rich, deep garlic flavour. Because of its soft buttery-ness when mashed, it becomes the perfect spread.I feel a batch of garlic and lime hummus coming on.
Recipes for baked, roasted or braised garlic often come with a pre-emptive disclaimer that the quantity of garlic cited is not a typo: whether it's a recipe that uses one head of garlic or a whopping 44 cloves, and David Leites Chicken uses another 40 cloves of garlic. Make this a few times and you'll be all well on your way to garlic utopia. Prego no Pão has been the most popular and widely eaten sandwich in Portuguese cuisine for many years,each one containing at least 6 cloves of garlic.
… How can a dish handle so much of this pungent little allium? Go to the market, pick up fifty heads of garlic, roast every single one of them, and bask in the perfection that ensues.
The magic, of course, is in the cooking method, and the transformative effect of some high heat and a little oil. This breaks down the fructose chains in the bulb and converts them into something mellow and sweet. The savoury, nutty, almost meaty result never ceases to delight me.
1.Lop off the top fifth of the head, so that the cloves appear in cross-section
2. wrap it in tin foil with a little olive oil and cook in a hot oven for about an hour
3. Remove and gently squeeze out the soft, sweet unctuous cloves
From here, you've got a free pass into a world of purées, sauces,spreads, dressings and mayonnaises, all characterised by a mellow smoothness that makes them receptive to being spread on toast with something salty such as crumbled feta or chopped anchovies. This method is also fantastically effective for vegetable mashes and stews.
Roasted Garlic and Avocado Toast
The perfect thing to pair with this wonderful roasted garlic? Whole wheat toast and a ripe, sliced avocado topped with a little salt and pepper. The avocado has a super mellow flavour, so it doesn’t overpower the roasted garlic, allowing you to still taste everything.The flavours of the garlic and avocado pair so well together, and it tastes like you are eating something rich and decadent when you aren’t. It just ticks all the boxes Whole wheat toast? Tick Healthy. Garlic? Tick Healthy. Avocado? Tick Super healthy.
1 head garlic, cloves removed (but left UNPEELED)
½ - 1 avocado
2-3 slices of whole wheat bread
1 teaspoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Place the individual, unpeeled, cloves of garlic onto a sheet of aluminum foil
Drizzle your olive oil on top of the cloves, and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper
Close the foil around the garlic cloves, creating a little pouch
Roast for 25-35 minutes, or until the garlic cloves are very soft when pierced with a knife
Set the garlic aside until cool enough to handle
Squeeze the garlic out of each clove and into a small bowl. Mash with a fork until smooth
Slice your avocado in half, remove the seed, and carefully scoop out each half, leaving it as in tact as possible. Slice the avocado halves into thin slices - you will need about ¼ - ½ of an avocado (depending on the size) for each toast
Toast your bread slices in the toaster
To assemble, spread 1-2 teaspoons of roasted garlic spread onto each slice of bread (amount will depend on garlic preference - I used 2 teaspoons). Next, add your avocado slices. Top with a little salt and pepper, and serve.