Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Roasted Garlic Compound Butter

by Ann

Doesn't it seem that one thing leads to another in most aspects of life?  My blogging process has proven this once again to be true.  When I decided to make the Extreme Macaroni and Cheese for last week's post it called for an entire head of roasted garlic; hence this week's post on roasting garlic and making compound garlic butter.

When garlic roasts the flavors mellow out tremendously and become sweet and nutty. While I would never consider using an entire head of raw garlic in a recipe, its roasted counterpart was not overwhelming at all.  

Roasting garlic was oh-so-trendy about ten years ago.  Jumping on that bandwagon, I actually purchased a domed ceramic garlic roasting vessel that I never got rid of because I felt guilty that I'd never used it!  Just last week I was at a Pampered Chef party where pictured in the catalog was the same garlic roasting device.  My friend Judy even pointed it out to me with a comment along the lines of "Who on earth would think they needed one of those?"  I am here to verify that you do NOT need one to successfully roast garlic.  When I roasted the garlic a week ago for the mac and cheese I didn't even consider climbing up on a chair to get it down , where yes, you guessed it, it was in the little cupboard above the refrigerator.

The ingredients and processes are simple, but not quick.  You will need to have the oven on at a 400 degree heat for an hour, so if you're like me, you will want to roast your garlic when you are cooking something else (especially in the hot months in Arizona!).  I made a spinach pie, which will be next week's post; once again, one thing leading to the next!
Even though you'll only need 4 heads of garlic, I did 6 - Four in the garlic roaster and two in the foil to see if there was any difference in the end product (there wasn't)
Cut the tops off of the heads of garlic - leave them in tact after that step.

Generously drizzle olive oil over the cut edges of the garlic heads.
On the two I cooked in the foil I also added some thyme.  Add salt and pepper to all.
Cover, and then place in the oven at 400 degrees until tender; for about an hour. 
Once cool enough to touch, squeeze the garlic out of its papery casings.
(Imagine the amazing aroma at this point!  It lasted a couple of days in the house...)
With a fork, mash the butter and garlic.  Salted or unsalted butter?  Your choice.  Chefs always use unsalted because it is fresher (salt is a preservative).  With that said, if you don't use a lot of butter, buy salted because the unsalted will get rancid much faster. I added a couple of grinds of sea salt at this point.
Form into a log shape on waxed paper.
Roll into a log and refrigerate for slicing.  This will be good for a couple of weeks.  (If it lasts that long!)
Ok -- So I couldn't wait until it was hard!  It made AMAZING hot garlic bread!

Roasted Garlic Compound Butter


4 heads of garlic
olive oil
dry thyme or other herb as desired
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
sea salt (if desired, and if you use unsalted butter)


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cut the tops off of the heads of garlic.
  • Drizzle generously with olive oil, making sure that all open cloves are covered
  • Generously sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme (if desired)
  • Roast the garlic covered until tender, for about an hour.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool until it can be touched comfortably.
  • Cut butter into pieces into a large bowl.
  • Squeeze cloves of roasted garlic into bowl with butter, mash together with a fork.  (I added a couple of grinds of sea salt, and was glad that I had.)
  • Form butter/garlic mixture to a log shape on a piece of waxed paper.  Roll paper to refrigerate to harden.
Once firm, butter can be sliced and used in mashed potatoes, on  hot bread, a grilled steak, cooked vegetables, or whatever you can imagine!

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