Let’s talk about butter.
I’d like to apologize here and now for my odd behavior. My only excuse is that I was a teenager and didn’t know any better. That does count as an excuse, right?
I don’t remember what happened the day that everything changed and I decided that I love the stuff. It seems to have been one of those magical transitions where I realized that stuff? That stuff that I am smearing all over hot bread in this restaurant? That stuff that melts into all of the nooks and crannies on said bread? That stuff is butter.
Really though, ever since that realization life has not been the same. Pants sizes have not been the same. Baking and cooking has not been the same. And the amount of things I like to do with butter now…well, let’s just say the possibilities are endless!
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- garlic roaster or foil
- 2 sticks of butter (or 16 Tbsp), softened completely
- zest from one lemon
- pinch of salt (if using unsalted butter)
So for starters, I have a garlic roaster that my beautiful sister gave me a couple years ago when she was passing through the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California. I would HIGHLY recommend getting one…roasting garlic will be so much easier and so much more consistent! You can still make a little packet for it out of foil, but if you can get your hands on a roaster, do it.
Cut the top off of the garlic, about the top 1/3 of the bulb (a serrated knife will make your life so much easier here). You want to make sure that the top of every clove is exposed, so if you need to use a paring knife to get in there on the sides then go for it. Place the bulb in the middle of the roaster or a sheet of foil and cover ever exposed surface of the garlic with the olive oil. Starting with a cold oven place the top on the roaster (or wrap up the foil so there’s a seal, then cover with another sheet of foil and place on a baking sheet) and then put the roaster/packet in the middle of the oven. Turn the temperature on to 300 and the timer on to 30 minutes. When the timer goes off the garlic should be done; however, if it’s a large bulb you might need to add 5-10 minutes. The largest cloves should be tender. When the garlic is done let it cool almost completely. When it’s cooled you should be able to hold it in your hand and squeeze all of the cloves out of the skin. Chop roughly or finely, depending on how you want the texture to be in the butter.
In a mixer beat the room temperature butter until fluffy. Add the lemon zest, chopped roasted garlic, and pinch of salt (if using). Mix until well combined. Scrape the butter mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap. Roll it up like a burrito, making the sides of the butter as flat as possible. Wrap again in foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but overnight is recommended. Use on top of bread, on steak, on chicken, on seafood (heaven!), or whatever else you like lemon garlic on. Enjoy!