A few days ago, someone who I follow on Twitter, and that person has a food-oriented website that is generally very good, tweeted that to make peeling garlic easier, one should microwave it for 10 seconds which allegedly will make the peel slip right off with ease. That is, unless, of course, it blows up in the microwave. Guess what happened to me? That’s right, I’ve just spent 30 minutes cleaning exploded garlic out of the microwave. I was standing a few feet away when I heard the “pop” and saw the garlic splatter on the window/door of the microwave. I had high hopes for this method because I still have dozens of garlic heads to process, and this would have made my life easier. Sadly, that’s not going to happen.
I do, however, always have a backup plan. For some of these heads, especially the ones with smaller cloves, I am going to process them in this manner: I am going to chop off their heads, slather them in olive oil, add a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and roast them in a covered, pre-soaked in water, terracotta baker in the oven until they begin to brown (I’m thinking 375 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour). Leave the skins on, except for the opening you cut in the top. There are pictures here at a web page that demonstrates this perfectly.
If you haven’t done this and you like garlic, you should do this the very next time you have the oven on. Let it cool after you bake it, then the garlic literally squeezes out (or you can use a cocktail fork or toothpick to remove the individual cloves) and spreads LIKE BUTTER. Seriously. You could spread this on some fabulous bread and have a very happy tummy. That reminds me… I need to eat. Oh, and if you do multiple heads at the same time, you can squeeze out the garlic, cover it with more olive oil, and freeze it for a long time, IF you don’t eat it all during the processing!