Make-ahead Christmas favourite!
Roasted garlic paste has many uses at any time of the year but it’s especially good to have all ready for Christmas dishes. And surprise, surprise – it’s dead easy to make too. I usually roast mine when I’m making something else in the oven like a casserole although you can make it separately too.
- Mash the garlic paste into softened butter (with or without chopped fresh herbs such as parsley) to make the best ever garlic bread, or to sautée pre-cooked vegetables like Brussel sprouts or boiled new potatoes. The butter can be frozen in a small plastic container until you need it.
- Cook wild or cultivated mushrooms in the roasted garlic butter – serve on toasted sourdough.
- Mix the paste with cream cheese and spread on toast.
- Mix the paste with cream as a pasta sauce with fried pancetta and chopped fresh basil or thyme leaves.
- Add a generous spoonful of the paste to soups, stews and gravies to give an extra kick of flavour.
- Mix the paste with a little olive oil to rub into chicken joints before cooking, or the oil drained from a tin of anchovies to rub into joints of lamb before roasting.
Take a couple of whole garlic bulbs and cut in half crosswise as below. Place the bulbs on a large enough sheet of baking foil to create a sealed parcel. Dribble a little olive oil and a little sea salt on the cut sides. Put the garlic halves together and seal up the foil parcel. Roast in the oven at 200°C for about 40 minutes until the cloves are soft.
When cooked, allow to cool little and then just squeeze out the roasted cloves into a small dish – this is the culinary equivalent of popping bubblewrap; highly satisfying : ). Mash the paste and either combine it with butter or oil. It will keep for a few days in the fridge. The butter can be frozen successfully – keep it in a plastic pot with a resealable lid (I use recycled supermarket ones that have had things like olives in) or roll it into a log shape and wrap in cling film.