"Infused with deliciously fragrant roasted garlic, this olive oil infusion often serves as the backbone flavoring for much of what we end up cooking up in the kitchen. Endlessly versatile in its use, from dipping crusty bread before the meal begins to finishing a juicy grilled steak, this is an infusion we try to keep on hand at all times."
Makes 8 oz.
1. Preheat the oven to 300°. Wash the head of garlic, and cut the top off horizontally. Season the exposed edges with salt and pepper, and place facedown in a deep baking dish.
2. Add the olive oil, peppercorns, and fresh thyme to the baking dish; cover with aluminum foil, and roast for 1 hour.
3. Remove from the oven, and let cool for 30 minutes, covered.
4. Uncover and remove the garlic, placing on a towel to drain. Then strain the oil through cheesecloth, and add to an 8-oz. Mason jar, adding 1 sprig of thyme.
5. Squeeze the cloves of garlic from the head, and add them to the Mason jar. The infusion and roasted garlic cloves will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Authors' note: Don't let the roasted garlic cloves in the above infusion go to waste. You can use them in addition to the infused oil, and they come with a caramelized, umami-packed richness you won't want to miss.