When the garlic stalks in the garden began falling over last week, letting me know that harvest time had arrived, I sighed at the sight of several long braids of last year’s garlic still hanging from the kitchen wall, little green sprouts protruding here and there from the heads. Many of the cloves would last until planting time in October, I knew, but while the new crop dried we’d have to speed up consumption of the old one.
Fortunately, we’d have a lot of company on Saturday. How could we fill everybody up on garlic? Robert wanted to roast some heads, but when we roast garlic for parties most people take only a clove or two apiece. Robert was sure, though, that at dinner on Saturday he could get each person to eat a whole head.
On Saturday afternoon, I watched doubtfully as Robert got out a muffin pan and set a big head of garlic in each cavity. I worked some olives and rosemary into my sourdough, and we served the warm bread with the hot garlic, one head per person.
After dinner, I found little to scrape into the compost bucket besides some papery skins. As Robert had predicted, every clove of garlic was eaten.
Here’s how Robert prepared the garlic:
Roasted Garlic in a Muffin Pan
Trim the roots of a dozen garlic heads, peel off the loose skins, and trim off the tips of the cloves. Set the heads in an oiled 12-muffin pan. Sprinkle salt and anything else you’d like—rosemary, black pepper, Parmesan—over the heads, and dribble them with olive oil. Cover the pan with foil. Bake the garlic at 400 degrees F. for about 30 minutes, until the cloves are soft and the fragrance of garlic fills the room.