Homemade Roasted Garlic Salt

Most foods are enhanced with a sprinkle of salt - but why not kick it up with the addition of roasted garlic!!!

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Well, Easter is over, the eggs have all been found and the chocolate bunnies have been consumed. Normally for my family, we would be chowing down on leftovers all this week but this year we decided to switch things up and BBQ rather than cook a big meal. I personally think that Easter is the perfect holiday to do this especially this year because it was so late in April and were all so excited to get outside and enjoy the nice weather!

So since most people are enjoying the benefits of not needing to cook this week I figured I would share with you a recipe that will enhance almost anything your eating.

Salt - it’s one of those things that people have a love-hate relationship with. You don’t want to overdo it because that will completely ruin your meal, but not having enough makes your meal feel like it’s just missing something. One thing I have learned the hard way is to wait and not salt your food right at the beginning. I have made many soups over the years that tasted perfect before simmering, then after that hour on the stove, I had a salty mess. So take it from me and be patient. You can always add more but you can’t always take it away.

One of the things that I think people under-salt is a salad. If you have never done it may sound weird but a small sprinkle of salt and pepper on a salad is the perfect addition to a simple vinaigrette. Now while I would never put traditional store-bought garlic salt on a salad this roasted garlic salt if different. firstly it has slow roasted garlic but it also is a coarse or flaked salt which is much better for seasoning tableside.

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prep time 5 minutes

cook time 1 hour 20 minutes

total time 1 hour 25 minutes

servings 1 cup

Ingredients

2 garlic heads

olive oil

pinch of salt

1 cup coarse or flaked sea salt

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400. Carefully cut the top off each head of garlic and place on a piece of tinfoil. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil then add a pinch of salt to the top and close the tinfoil around the head. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until garlic is aromatic and tender.

Reduce oven temperature to 200. In a medium bowl squeeze out each clove of garlic then pour salt over and use a fork combine - be sure to break down the garlic completely. Pour onto a parchment lined baking sheet then roast in the oven for 40 minutes. Allow for your salt to cool completely before storing in an airtight container or jar.

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Roasted Garlic Pesto Spaghettini with Pan Fried Oyster Mushrooms + Crispy Pancetta

If you're a pesto lover, you will LOVE this version! Roasting the garlic mellows out the flavour and gives depth to this easy, fresh pasta dish!

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Happy Thursday and Happy last day of February everyone! Spring is just around the corner, and I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait!

So when I think about spring I think of light, fresh meals that don’t require a ton of time in the kitchen. This pesto pasta is a great way to get ready for sunnier weather because even though its pasta it’s still fresh and doesn’t feel heavy.

I don’t know about you, but I love pesto! With the addition of roasted garlic, this pesto has a more mellow, less sharp flavour.

There are many ways to roast garlic, but in this recipe, I slow roasted in oil. I did this for 1 reason - I didn't have any tinfoil. But, in the end, it turned out to be the best "mistake" I have made in a while. Since we all know pesto needs olive oil, you can use the oil you cook your garlic in and add even more flavour to your dish.

Now, don’t be afraid of the amount of garlic that is in the recipe. It’s a lot, and if it was raw, it would be so incredibly overpowering. But since it’s cooked the flavour is mellow and sweet.

Lastly, I had beautiful oyster mushrooms that I found at the farmers market, but if you can’t find them or they are not readily available where you live, white mushrooms work just as well.

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prep time 20 minutes

cook time 40 minutes

total time 1 hour

servings 4

Ingredients

1 full head of garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cups fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1/4 cup walnuts + more to garnish

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 tsp salt + 2 tsp for pasta water

5 oz pancetta

3 cups oyster mushrooms (or any mushrooms you have)

3/4 lb spaghettini

Instructions

In a small saucepan combine peeled garlic cloves and olive oil, cook over medium heat until the edges of garlic begin to bubble. Reduce heat and allow garlic to simmer for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Be sure to turn your garlic ever 2-3 minutes so that it does not burn. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In a food processor combine basil, parmesan, walnuts, garlic and oil. Blend until smooth then add in lemon juice and salt and blend for 30 more seconds. Taste the pesto and add additional lemon juice and salt if necessary.

In a large saucepan add in pancetta and fry for 4-5 minutes or until crispy. Remove pancetta from the pot and place in a small bowl, drain all but 1 tbsp of the pancetta grease and set aside. To the pot add chopped mushrooms and fry until all of the liquid is gone, and the mushrooms are golden brown. Add the mushrooms to the bowl with the pancetta.

Fill the same large saucepan 3/4 full with water, add in salt and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling add in pasta and cook according to the directions on the package, drain then place pasta back in the pot.

To the pasta add in pancetta, mushrooms and pesto. Stir well then serve immediately. Garnish with chopped walnuts.

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