Roasted garlic is easy to make, goes well in so many things and, perhaps best of all, while roasting perfumes your house with its allium essence. Once roasted, the flavour, once pungent and spicy, turns fragrant, mellow and almost sweet. I like to serve it as a burger topping, creamed into mashed potatoes, ground up with white beans for dip, and my favourite method – mixed into butter with chives to make a delightful compound butter. It makes the simple pleasure of fresh bread and butter feel just a bit fancy.
Roasted Garlic & Chive Compound Butter
1 large head of garlic
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup butter (salted or unsalted depends on your preference), room temperature
4 tbsp finely chopped chives
Preheat your oven to 325F.
Cut the top off the head of garlic, just so the cloves are exposed. Pour the olive oil over the cut head of garlic and wrap in tin foil.
Bake for 50-60 minutes. Let cool slightly, then extract cloves from the papery bulb (I use a cocktail fork).
Mash with a fork, discarding any hard bottom bits.
In a small saucepan, melt 1/4 cup of the butter over low heat until it bubbles. Add chives and stir. Mix in mashed garlic and let cool to room temperature. (note: this step is optional, but I have found it helps the butter to keep better. If you skip this step, then just use the entire cup of butter in the next step.)
Combine the remaining butter and the chive/garlic mixture by either mashing together with a fork, or creaming with a mixer until well combined.
Use within a few days (covered and kept in the refrigerator), or roll into a log with cling wrap and freeze (another option: pipe equally sized pats of the butter onto a wax paper-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid, then keep in a freezer bag until ready to use.
Other serving suggestions: toss popcorn or cooked vegetables in melted butter, top a steak with a pat of the butter and let it melt in, sautée shrimp or other seafood in it, serve melted with lobster or crab.