Once upon a time, we had a roasted garlic spread on some crusty bread as an appetizer at The Stinking Rose restaurant in San Francisco. It was memorable, to say the least. Years later, we got a big batch of heads of garlic when we were scavenging for the pigs and attempted our version. It came out so well that even though it’s time consuming and nitpicky and messy to make, it’s worth it, and I almost always have some in the freezer. It freezes really well, even keeping the silky texture.
I just do the basic recipe that everyone does for roasted garlic, except that I like to use stuff I grew. Its easier to have fresh herbs now that I bring them in the house in the fall. Mine aren’t thriving this year in their new spot, and we aren’t sure why.
Leave the head of garlic as intact as possible, but trim off the tops of each clove.
Drizzle generously with a good olive oil.
Sprinkle chopped fresh herbs. I used rosemary, oregano, sage and thyme.
Salt and pepper.
Roast uncovered for two hours at 300 degrees.
When it’s done, let it cool until it can be handled with bare fingers, but don’t let it get too cold, or it’ll be harder to get the cloves out. Squeeze the cloves and as much of the herbs as you can into the bowl of your food processor.
Process for three or four minutes, adding more olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. It should be a thick paste, spreadable.
I store mine in 4 ounce Mason jars and keep them in the freezer. The texture stays lovely, and I love to add it to soups, gravies or salad dressing. Or spread it on toast.
It’s potent stuff. A little bit goes a long way. But what a wonderful way it is. It can turn leftovers into magic.