I remember the first time I had roasted garlic. It was presented in its whole form—the top of the head had been lopped off, revealing little catacombs of caramelized garlic cloves inside. I wasn’t totally sure what to do with it, so I literally dug right in with a little knife. My effort was rewarded with a sticky, buttery and heavenly-smelling clove. I spread it on a cracker, savoring this new taste and texture. Up until this time, garlic was a pungent and spicy ingredient, meant to be used only very sparingly. But this garlic was mellow, creamy and soft—and I could easily devour a ton of it. Because of its easy prep and short cook time, I use roasted garlic often, and especially love blending it into a hummus for a rich and silky-textured dish.
2 whole heads of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
2/3 cup olive oil, divided
pinch of salt
2 cups of dried chickpeas (soaked overnight) or one can of chickpeas, rinsed
pinch of baking powder
1/4 cup tahini
1 tsp salt
2 TB sriracha
red pepper flakes, optional
Preheat oven to 375. Place the garlic bulbs in a small glass casserole dish. Douse with 1/3 cup of olive oil and pinch of salt. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir and place back into the oven for 15 minutes more, uncovered. Let the bulbs cool completely for about an hour. Reserve any of the leftover oil that may remain in the casserole dish.If you are using dried chickpeas: While the garlic is roasting, place the soaked chickpeas in a pressure cooker with enough water to cover them plus a bit more and a pinch of baking powder. Cook on high for 25 minutes, or until they mash very easily when pressed on by a fork or back of a spoon. Drain and place in a food processor.
If you are using canned chickpeas: Rinse very well and transfer directly to a food processor.
Once the garlic bulbs are completely cooled, remove the skins and discard them. Place the garlic, any leftover olive oil, plus the 1/3 cup remaining olive oil into the food processor with the chickpeas. Pulse until very smooth, about a minute.
Add in the tahini, salt and sriracha. Pulse for about a minute more. If not using immediately, refrigerate and allow to sit out at room temperature for about an hour before serving. Hummus is tastiest when served at room temperature.