You can use the last heat of a wood or charcoal fire to efficiently roast garlic (or in an oven, roast the garlic at 400° for 1 hour). Napa Valley chef Michael Chiarello puts the soft, smoky cloves in salad, but doesn't stop there with roasted garlic: "I love it in vinaigrettes, pureed with vinegar as a marinade, under the skin of a chicken, spread on grilled steak. . ."
More From Sunset
- Calories: 85
- Calories from fat: 26%
- Protein: 2.8g
- Fat: 2.5g
- Saturated fat: 0.4g
- Carbohydrate: 15g
- Fiber: 0.9g
- Sodium: 7.5mg
- Cholesterol: 0.0mg
- Whole heads of garlic
- Olive oil
- Cut tops off heads of garlic and set heads on a doubled piece of heavy-duty foil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap and set on hot ash of a dying wood fire. Let roast for about 1 hour, rotating occasionally. When cool, squeeze roasted garlic cloves from skins. The garlic keeps 1 week in the fridge and up to 2 months in the freezer, wrapped airtight.
- Note: Nutritional analysis is per garlic head.
- The DIY Firepit
- "You can do anything on this. It's a little like camping in the middle of your day," says Napa Valley chef Michael Chiarello. All you need is bricks arranged to fit under your cooking grate and some sand.
- Build the pit: Spread a double layer of heavy-duty foil on the ground ("not grass," warns Chiarello, since it may scorch). Make it big enough to extend a foot beyond your cooking grate in all directions. Build a brick rectangle 3 layers high, leaving a couple of bricks out of the top layer on opposite sides, to encourage airflow. (For a standard 21-in. round Weber grate, the rectangle should be 2 bricks by 3 bricks.) Fill with about an inch of sand.
- Light the fire: Put several balled-up sheets of newspaper in the center and position kindling into a tipi around it; lean larger kindling and then 5 to 6 small logs (preferably oak). Light the fire. "The tipi lets every bit of flame go up past 3 or 4 logs," says Chiarello, so the fire starts fast. Once the logs have caught, add several larger logs to the perimeter. Let them burn down to ashy chunks with low flames (1 1/2 to 2 hours). Because there's less smoke and char than cooking over a flaming fire, Chiarello says, "it makes your food taste much cleaner, gives nuanced flavor, and is better for wine."
- Start cooking: Keep another log burning at the back of the pit. When it's ashy chunks, rake it into the main fire to maintain heat.
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