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  1. Wednesday, June 1

    Roasted Garlic Bulbs

    When I went to college in Boston a while ago, there was an Italian restaurant called Vinny Testa’s (I frequented the locations on Boylston Street and in Lexington). Vinny Testa’s was similar in style to Buca di Bepo, except not a national chain, so automatically more awesome. I think maybe the best thing they served was roasted garlic bulbs with bread. The first time I saw those bulbs I thought, “What the?!?” But I tried it. And it was seriously amazing. For some reason you think the garlic will be overpowering and strong, but it’s surprisingly not and is in fact divine.

    Side note: I think Vinny Testa’s might be closed. Can you Bostonians fill me in? I have a sneaking suspicion their roasted garlic bulbs will now forever be a memory.

    This weekend we went to Monterey for a day trip and, on the drive home, we stopped in Gilroy to buy cherries. And of course I had to buy some garlic, it is the garlic capitol after all. With four garlic cloves on my hands this week I decided it was the perfect time to try out roasting some bulbs on my own! And the result was fantastic…Cate was seriously sitting at the dinner table last night after all the bread was gone salivating and chanting in a low, obsessed voice, “Garlic, garlic, garlic.”

    It is SUPER easy to make and such a great side to serve with dinner. Your house (and your breath) will probably smell pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty garlicky (any Larry David fans in the house?), but it will be worth it! Spread this garlic on your bread and you will be eating hands-down the best garlic bread ever.

    I tried roasting the garlic two ways – wrapped in foil and not wrapped in foil.

    As you can see, the bulb that was not wrapped in foil went kind of nutso…beyond caramelized, the bulbs popping out of the bulb. It also cooked much faster this way.

    I personally liked the bulb cooked in foil better. The taste wasn’t different, but I felt like the cooking was more controlled, albeit a little slower. You still get a bit of caramelization on top, but all the bulbs behave themselves. Here’s a side-by-side, cooked with no foil on the left (after I cut the crazy tops off) and cooked in foil on the right.

     

    Roasted Garlic Bulbs
     
    Author:
    Cuisine: Side Dish
    Ingredients
    • Garlic bulbs (as many as you think you’ll eat…probably two small or one large is enough for several people at a meal)
    • Olive oil
    Instructions
    1. Peel off the papery outside of the garlic bulb, leaving the cloves in tact and their individual skins attached.
    2. Cut off the top of the bulb so the cloves are exposed, probably about ½″ or so. Sometimes you get a few bulbs around the outside that are too low to make the cut, so I just cut their tops off individually.
    3. If you are going to cook the garlic in foil, place the bulb in a piece of foil, then slowly drizzle olive oil all over the bulb, letting it seep down into the cloves. Wrap the foil around the garlic and place on a baking pan or dish.
    4. If you are not going to use foil, place bulb on a baking dish and drizzle slowly with oil as described above.
    5. Bake garlic in a 400-degree oven for approximately 30 minutes in foil or 20 minutes if not in foil. You basically cook the garlic until the cloves are nice and soft.
    6. Let cool a bit then serve with a knife. Dig the cloves out of the bulb with the knife then spread on your bread.
    7. You could also use the roasted garlic for cooking (think sauces, vegetables, the possibilities are endless!).

     

     


  2. Wednesday, June 16

    Homemade Roasted Tomatoes on Make and Takes

    I’m super excited about my guest post on Make and Takes today. I made homemade roasted roma tomatoes for the first time and loved it! Not only were they easy and very tasty, but I really had fun photographing them!

    homemade roasted tomatoes web

    Big thanks to Faye and Ginger, who both commented on my menu post this week suggesting I roast the 12 romas I had lying around.

    I’m typing up the “recipe” below, but make sure to check out my full post on Make and Takes to get all the details and see all the photos!

    Homemade Roasted Tomatoes
     
    Author:
    Cuisine: Side Dish
    Ingredients
    • 10-14 roma tomatoes (you could experiment with other tomatoes, but romas are less delicate and less seedy and work well)
    • Olive oil (probably about ¼ – ½ cup)
    • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
    • Salt (kosher, preferably)
    • Pepper
    • Spices you like – Oregano, Basil, Parsley, Red Pepper Flakes, whatever!
    • Sugar
    Instructions
    1. Add minced garlic to the olive oil and let sit while you prepare the tomatoes. Slice tomatoes into wedges, 8 per tomato. Spread on cookie sheet and brush with garlic olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, spices, and sugar. Bake at 200ºF for 2-6 hours or so (5½ hours was my magic number).
    2. Store in the refrigerator drizzled in olive oil.

     


  3. Tuesday, April 20

    Simple Side Dishes: Roasted Cauliflower

    Today I just have a healthy and easy recipe for you. It’s so easy, in fact, I hesitate to even call it a ‘recipe.’ This roasted cauliflower is to die for. Trust me. I’ve been popping these florettes like candy for the last two days. Yum!

    roasted cauliflower web

    Simple Side Dishes: Roasted Cauliflower
     
    Author:
    Cuisine: Side Dish
    Ingredients
    • Cauliflower, broken up into small-medium sized pieces
    • Olive Oil
    • Salt & Pepper
    • Handful of fresh, grated parmesan cheese
    Instructions
    1. Place cauliflower on a baking sheet or in a 9X13 baking pan. Drizzle olive oil over cauliflower, then salt and pepper. Toss cauliflower to lightly cover all pieces with oil and seasoning.
    2. Roast in a 400-degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Stir once or twice during cooking. Check for doneness with a sharp knife, to the point where you can pierce the cauliflower fairly easily but not to the point of mushiness. Remove from oven and toss with grated parmesan cheese.
    3. Sit, eat and enjoy the simplicity and buttery goodness that is cauliflower!

    roasted cauliflower2 web