Roasting transforms garlic's sharp, pungent flavor into something nutty and sweet, and the flesh turns creamy and spreadable.
To roast the whole bulb, remove any loose, papery skin and cut about 1/4-inch off the top (not root end) to expose the cloves. Use a paring knife to cut a bit off any cloves on the sides of the bulb to expose the flesh.
Make a double layer of foil and put in the bulb. Drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper. Loosely enclose the garlic in the foil, making a little packet. Bake in a preheated 375- to 400-degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Baste occasionally with hot water or any juices that pool in the packet.
When the garlic flesh is soft and golden brown, remove from the oven and let sit for about 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the flesh from the cloves.
You can also roast individual cloves. Peel them and place them in a foil packet. Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper. Bake for about 30 to 45 minutes or until soft and golden brown.
If you're looking for a garlicky dip for a Super Bowl party, here's a recipe.
White Bean Dip: Drain and rinse well one 15- to 16-ounce can cannellini beans.
In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, place beans, 1 1/2 tablespoons roasted garlic (or more to taste), 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Process until smooth.
Adjust seasonings as needed. Serve with baked pita chips or cut-up vegetables.