For me, garlic is a kitchen staple. The one ingredient that is truly transformative. If you have no other herbs or spices, garlic alone can bring complexity to a dish, turn the flavors from bland to vibrant.
Garlic also has the unique quality of being transformed itself by a little heat. Raw garlic is sharp and biting. It's use needs to be controlled so that it doesn't become overpowering. Throw some garlic in a pan with warmed olive oil and that little bit of heat helps to create a richer, deeper flavor. But roasting? Roasting completely changes the quality of garlic. It becomes mellow, sweet, and while raw garlic must be tempered, roast garlic can (and should) be consumed in excess.
A roast head of garlic really needs little else. It becomes soft and pliable enough to be spread over bread - as creamy as butter. On Father's Day my dinner came with fingerling potatoes and roasted garlic cloves - the cloves `requiring as much fork space as the potatoes.
This pizza makes exceptional use of roasted garlic. There is little else to distract from the warm garlic flavor spread atop the crust. And this garlic is double roasted - once as a whole head, and again when placed atop the pizza. Cheese, garlic, and a good crust - you won't even miss the tomato sauce.
Roasted Garlic Pizza (From Cooking Light)
1 garlic head
1/2 tsp dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
2 1/4 oz flour
2 3/8 oz bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp cornmeal
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tsp chopped oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- Preheat oven to 375. Remove white papery skin from garlic head and wrap in foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves and squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins.
- Dissolve yeast in 1/3 cup warm water in a small bowl and let stand 5 minutes.
- Place flours and salt in a food processor and pulse 2 times.
- Add oil to yeast mixture. and add to the flours in the food processor, with the processor on. Process until dough forms a ball and then process another minute.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead lightly 4 to 5 times. Place in a large bowl coated with cooking spray. Cover and let rise 1 hour.
- Increase oven temp to 400. Punch dough down, cover and let rest 5 minutes. Roll into a 10 inch circle and place on pizza pan sprinkled with cornmeal.
- Spread roasted garlic evenly over pizza, leaving 1/2 inch border.
- Top with cheeses, oregano, and pepper. Bake for 12 minutes. Cut into 8 wedges.