The Virtues of Garlic
The health benefits of garlic are well documented, from natural pest repellent, to natural anti-biotic.
Raw garlic is high in compounds that are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and also fight free radical damage and inflammation with powerful antioxidant properties.
Though garlic is reputed to be beneficial in lowering LDL’s (“bad” cholesterol), studies have not proven this. I don’t mind that – there are a lot of foods with a healthy track record of benefits that “studies” have not been able to prove. When you consider that garlic is widely used in the Mediterranean and heart disease is much lower there than in the U.S., I’m willing to make the leap that it plays a healthy role!
The rich, sweet flavor of roasted garlic can be mashed into a paste and used in a multitude of ways, such as whisking with oil and vinegar for a dressing, adding to mashed potatoes or spreading on rustic bread instead of butter, just to name a few!
Method 1 (whole bulbs):
Place whole bulbs on a bed of coarse salt in a small baking dish. Roast in a hot oven (temp is not actually critical – anywhere from 325F to 475F will do) until the skin has turned brown and juices are beginning to escape.
Allow the bulbs to cool. Slice off the bottom and squeeze out the flesh.
Method 2 (individual cloves):
Leave the skin ON. "Crack" individual cloves with the flat side of your chef's knife and a bit of pressure from the palm of your hand. Toss the cracked cloves with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or in a baking dish, for approximately 20 minutes at 425F. Cool slightly (just enough so you can handle them). Discard skins and proceed with use of the flesh!
Mmmmm. I can smell it from here!!