Written by MJ Kircher
In our house, winter means snow. We celebrate it in all forms, but mainly we ski, snowboard and snowshoe. To say we are die-hards is an understatement. My favorite part of our cold weather pastime is après-ski, when rosy cheeks come inside to warm up and hot toddies magically appear. This is the charm of winter in the Finger Lakes.
After the glut of holiday richness, I prefer to take a decidedly less indulgent approach to our wintertime après-ski routine. As soon as we return home, I pop foil-wrapped balls of elephant garlic into the oven. Within minutes, the house is perfumed with a comforting aroma. Piping hot heads of roasted garlic are ready to be pulled from the oven in 45 minutes, which gives us enough time to unpack the gear, fix a drink and settle in for an evening of family Scrabble while the snow flies outside.
Après-ski Roasted Head of Garlic
I love the elephant garlic from Six Circles Farm in Lodi. We use this roasted garlic as a centerpiece for an easy vegetarian charcuterie plate. Serve with sesame focaccia from Wide Awake Bakery, pickled veggies from Crooked Carrot Farm and beet hummus from Ithaca Hummus. Enjoy a dram of John Meyer New York Straight Bourbon Whiskey as an accompaniment.
A head of elephant garlic
Drizzle of good olive oil
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
Sprinkle of Maldon sea salt
Preparation: Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the top third from head of garlic. Peel away excess papery covering. Place on foil and slowly drizzle olive oil into the exposed heads. Place sprigs of thyme on and around the head. Sprinkle with sea salt. Wrap with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Unpeel foil once cooled. Spread the soft garlic on everything! You can store in fridge for 1 week.
MJ Kircher grew up driving tractors on her family’s vineyard on Cayuga lake and is the former owner of The Copper Oven. She has a strong obsession with banana bread.