Roasted Garlic Bread

I am not a fan of buttering bread, but for this I make an eager exception. In fact I guarantee that people will eat so much, you might want to serve two long baguettes. You must use a really high quality unsalted butter (never salted) and either leave it out to warm to room temperature or whip it in a frenzy in a mixer (but be careful not to overwhip it to heavy cream).
After eating this butter on bread, I was sure that it would be equally delicious on spaghetti, but I was absolutely wrong. The subtle flavor got quite lost.

People who are not accustomed to eating whole roasted garlic are often horrified when they see a recipe like this one. But the fear is for nothing, as this method makes for garlic that is sweet and mild. Always remove the green sprout found inside some garlic cloves; it’s the most difficult part to digest, which makes the pungent flavor linger longest on your breath.

Serves 6.

1 head garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves
½ teaspoon dried Greek oregano
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 French or Italian baguette, thickly sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. To roast the garlic: Remove as much of the paper from the garlic as possible, being careful to keep the head intact. Sprinkle with the olive oil and place in a small baking pan or on a large piece of aluminum foil.

3. Cook until the garlic is soft and tender, about 35 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove the peel.

4. To make the garlic butter: Place the butter, extra-virgin olive oil, and garlic in a small mixing bowl and mash with a fork. Add the basil, parsley, oregano, and salt. Transfer to a small ramekin or serving bowl.

5. Just before serving, toast the bread slices. Place in a basket lined with a thick cloth napkin and serve immediately.

From The $50 Dinner Party: 26 Dinner Parties That Won’t Break Your Bank, Your Back, or Your Schedule (Simon & Schuster, 1998)