I love the changes of the seasons. Summer’s flipping wonderful, but fall’s here and I’m leaning into it hard with some cozy weather favorites. Does everyone roast garlic? It changes the flavor completely, with the sharpness giving way to a deep soulful sweetness. Oh baby! I roast a bunch at once, since I’ve already got the oven on. So good. My idea of meal prepping is creating a lot of awesome ingredients that I can throw into a variety of things throughout the week and make them better.
You cut about the top 1/3rd of each head off so that all the cloves are exposed. Leave the skins on. Pop them in a baking dish and drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil, and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Cover tightly with foil and roast at 400 degrees F for about 45 minutes. (There’s room to play with the temp. If you’ve got something else in there at 350, just let the garlic have an extra 10 minutes or so.) Let it cool til it’s okay to handle and just give the whole head a squeeze and all the cloves will pop right out of the peels. Yeah, it’s super satisfying.
If you don’t like to waste things, you’re worried about the garlic we cut off. You could run it through a garlic press, but there’s really not much there. I pressed it all and added a pic so you can see if it’s worth it to you or not.
For 4 little cartons of tomatoes, I add 1/2 cup olive oil (Don’t stress out about that number. When the tomatoes roast, some of their juices will blend together and create a tomato vinaigrette in the background. That’s another ingredient in the making.), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (double the thyme and give yourself bonus points if you have fresh in the fridge). Swirl the pan to coat all the tomatoes and pop them into a 400 degree F oven for 40 minutes. I pop them into a mason jar, tomato-y vinaigrette and all.
Jen’s Roasted Garlic Tzatziki
2 cups Greek yogurt (look at the protein content to make sure it’s high or else it has filler to thicken it. I’m using Fage 5%.)
1 head roasted garlic, smushed
½ an English cucumber – chopped pretty finely (If you got regular in your misfit box, no problem. Use the whole thing, but peel it and remove the seeds.)
½ lemon – zest and juice (Zest the whole thing and leave half of it on your microplane for a pretty garnish, and toss the other lemon half in your water as a cook’s treat.)
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch or grind of pepper
Fresh Dill – optional, but lovely if you have some. Parsley’s nice, too.
Top it with some of those glorious roasted tomatoes, lemon zest, and a little more dill or parsley. Serve with warm pita bread.
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A friend just asked about soup pots. It really depends on capacity, your budget, and how heavy you like your cookware to be. Le Creuset is the Jaguar of Dutch ovens, but Lodge is a terrific value play. Both are super heavy and versatile. Le Creuset also has big stock pots that aren’t heavy cast iron. We have one that we generally use for brewing beer, but it’s literally a stock pot. They’re lightweight and you get a huge one for very little money. All of them come in pretty much any color or neutral you want.
My favorite knife. It’s a 7″ full tang Santoku. I chose the Ikon handle design, which is wonderfully ergonomic. I have spent hours on a produce sculpture before and my hand was just as comfy at the end. It’s worth the pennies.
My favorite non-stick skillet.
My favorite cast iron skillet is a 12″ Lodge dual handle pan. Why, the long handles are too heavy to hold with a single hand when they’re loaded up. Since you’re using two hands anyway, you might as well get the ones that take up less space and stack so much better!