Garlic has many important health benefits. It has been found to have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal activity. Garlic is also claimed to help prevent heart disease and accumulated cholesterol.

Apart from these health benefits, garlic tastes delicious. Roasted garlic is particularly tasty and sweet, and you might find it a more mellow way to prepare and eat garlic. Roasted garlic can be eaten plain as a snack, added to salads or as an important ingredient in Italian foods such as pasta, pizza or spread on slices of crusty bruschetta.

Hereâ??s how to roast your garlic to perfection:

1.  Peel away the papery white outer layer that covers the bulb

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Leave the individual covering on each clove and leave each clove attached to the root.

2.  Cut the top (pointed end/stalk) off the head of garlic.

If preferred, you can remove each clove individually for roasting but this is a more time-consuming method and not really necessary.

3.  Place the head of garlic on a piece of foil large enough to wrap the garlic

Or use one of those great clay garlic roasters. Again, if using individual cloves, add them to the package.

4.  Drizzle or brush a little olive oil over the garlic head.

If using the cloves individually, drizzle oil over each one.

5.  Wrap the garlic head in the foil.

6.  Bake in a preheated oven at 350ºF/175ºC for about 30-35 minutes, until the garlic is soft.

7.  Remove the garlic from the oven and pop out the cloves

Remove the roasted garlic from the oven and simply pop the individual cloves out of the roasted paper outers. They should come out easily. Arrange on a plate or add to a dish as needed. If roasting individual cloves, simply drop them out of the foil to where they’re needed.

Serve with salt and olive oil. It also goes well with crusty bread. Roasted garlic is wonderful spread on lightly toasted pieces of Italian bread. You can also add it to mashed potatoes for garlic mashed potatoes.

8.  Whole already peeled cloves

To roast whole already peeled cloves such as those that can be bought in a jar from the supermarket, do as follows: Place the peeled cloves into a small ovenproof dish, drizzle with olive oil and add a splash of water. Season with salt, cover with foil and place in the oven as mentioned above.

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