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Roasted Garlic Bread

Community meeting dinner, 2/27/12 – served with lasagna
Community meeting dinner, 1/23/13 – served with baked spaghetti and meatballs
Community meeting dinner, 4/3/13 – served with sausage and sweet potato stew

Roasting the garlic gives it a mellow flavor and a creamy texture, letting you make a rich-tasting garlic bread with less fat.

  • roasted garlic bread rolls2 heads garlic*
  • 4 tablespoons canola, vegetable, or olive oil, divided between roasted garlic and bread assembly
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large loaf Italian or French bread

Roasting the garlic
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Hold the head of garlic on its side and use a large knife to slice off the very top of the head (the pointed end). This will expose all the cloves inside. Repeat with the second head.

Place both heads on a large piece of aluminum foil inside a baking pan. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with the salt. Bring the foil up and fold to seal in the garlic.

Bake for approximately 1 hour, until cloves of garlic are completely tender. Allow to cool enough to handle. (Note: this can be done up to 4 days in advance – refrigerate roasted garlic until ready to use.)

Assembling the bread
Using your fingers, squeeze the roasted cloves of garlic out of their papery skins and into a small bowl. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and use a fork to mash the garlic and oil into a paste.

Using a bread knife, slice the loaf of bread into pieces, but do not go all the way through – leave the bottom crust intact. Rub the garlic paste between slices, coating each portion with some of the garlic paste.

Wrap the entire loaf in aluminum foil. Return to the oven for 10-12 minutes, until heated through. Break along the scored slices to serve.

Yield: one loaf, serves 8-10.

*Garlic grows well in Nebraska and can be stored for long periods of time.

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Roasted Garlic and Potato Soup

Committee meeting working lunch 1/11/12 – served with simple whole wheat bread

Potatoes and garlic are fairly easy to grow, easy to store, and delicious. This soup is also pretty darn easy to make. You can also make a springtime variation: Green Garlic and Potato Soup.

  • 2 heads plus 2 cloves garlic, divided*
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 onions, sliced*
  • 5 large starchy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” cubes*
  • 6 cups (or more) water, chicken stock, or vegetable stock (I actually used leftover liquid from cooking beans)
  • 2 ounces parmesan or grana padano cheese
  • 1 cup milk or half-and-half
  • 1 small bunch green onions or chives, chopped

Preheat oven to 350º.

Cut the tops off the two whole heads of garlic, exposing the cloves. Place heads in a baking dish, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and a pinch of salt, and cover with foil. Roast until tender when cloves are pierced with a knife, 45-60 minutes. Squeeze cloves out of papery exterior. (Can be done in advance – refrigerate until ready to use.)

Heat the remaining tablespoon oil in a large pot. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook until translucent. While onions are cooking, finely chop remaining 2 cloves garlic. Add garlic to onions and cook until fragrant.

Add roasted garlic cloves, cubed potatoes, a 1-ounce chunk of the cheese, and water or stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender or food processor in batches to blend).

Add milk, then add more water or stock to reach desired consistency if needed. Add salt to taste.

Top with chopped chives and remaining cheese, grated.

Serves 8.

*Garlic, onions, and potatoes can all be grown in Nebraska and stored well into winter.

Roasted Garlic Bean Dip

Committee meeting working lunch, 11/29/11 – Served with carrots, celery, and homemade wheat crackers.

This dip can be made using dried or canned beans. Serve with raw vegetables like carrots, celery, peppers, and broccoli, or with crackers or bread.

½ cup dried beans, any variety (or one can of beans)*
1 head garlic*
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil, divided use
Salt

If using dried beans, soak the beans overnight (up to 24 hours) in plenty of water. Then, rinse the beans, put them in a pot, and add water to cover by about 5 inches. Bring beans to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until beans are tender, 1-2 hours (taste them to see when they are done, and overcooked is better than undercooked in this recipe). (Can be done in advance – add a large pinch of salt to the water, cool, and refrigerate in the cooking water for up to 4 days.)

While the beans are cooking, preheat oven to 350º. Cut the top (pointed, gathered end) off of a whole heads of garlic, exposing the cloves. Place in a baking dish, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and a pinch of salt, and cover with foil. Roast until tender when cloves are pierced with a knife, 45-60 minutes. Squeeze cloves out of papery exterior. (Can be done in advance – refrigerate until ready to use.)

In a food processor or blender, combine cooked beans (prepared as above, or start at this step using canned beans) with roasted garlic cloves, remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Process or blend until smooth, then add up to 1 tablespoon cooking liquid (or liquid from can) to reach a dip-able consistency. Add salt to taste.

Yield: approximately 1 cup dip

*Both garlic and beans can be grown in Nebraska and stored for long periods of time.