Roasted Garlic in Herbed Oil from The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning by Wendy Trusler & Carol Devine

Today we’re sharing a recipe from The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning by Wendy Trusler & Carol Devine. This cookbook is a visually captivating, novelistic travelogue that chronicles the first civilian environmental cleanup expedition in Antarctica—an engaging true story told through anecdotes, journal entries, vignettes, recipes, and archival and contemporary photography. Purchase your copy from your favorite retailer today!


Roasted Garlic (2)The inspiration for this dish was a four-foot-long double braid of Argentinean garlic that hung on the wall of my Antarctic kitchen. It is really more method than recipe, as much depends upon mood, pan size and the herbs you have on hand. These proportions fit nicely into a small cast iron skillet—feel free to ad-lib with the herbs. I use fresh instead of dried when available and once on a whim in Antarctica I added a handful of the cranberries the Russians had given me. I like to keep them on hand at home now for the vibrant burst of color and unexpected flavor and texture they bring to this dish.

  • 6 to 7 heads of garlic
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon each of peppercorns (try pink or green if available)
  • chili flakes, dried rosemary, sage and thyme
  • a few bay leaves
  • a handful of frozen cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350˚f. Cut ¼ -inch from the tops of the garlic heads to expose the cloves. Remove any messy bits of skin, but not so much as to compromise the bulbs’ structural integrity.

ABCC_HarperCollins_2Place the garlic in a skillet or ovenproof dish. Five to six arranged around the perimeter and one in the middle works well—leave a little space in between. Add enough olive oil to come a 1/4-inch up the side of the pan and sprinkle with salt, peppercorns and chili flakes. Turn the bulbs to coat with oil and reposition them cut side up. To finish, tuck as many bay leaves as you think looks nice between the bulbs and then scatter the remaining herbs over top, crushing them between your fingers as you go to help release the flavors.

Cover tightly with foil and bake until the skins on the garlic bulbs are golden brown and the cloves are tender. This should take about 50 minutes, but check after 40 minutes and remove the foil to hasten browning if necessary. Add the cranberries 5 minutes before removing the baked garlic from the oven. You can roast the garlic ahead of time and add the cranberries when you are reheating.

Serve tucked in beside warm braids of Honey Oatmeal Bread (recipe in book) or other warm bread you have on hand. I like to encourage the use of hands to pull away and squeeze the cloves onto the bread, but I always have two small spoons at the ready for the less adventurous. A dish for the skins is a good idea.

Makes enough for twenty.

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