• Use only firm, smooth garlic. Avoid soft, shriveled bulbs or bulbs with sprouts.
• An average size garlic bulb yields roughly 2 to 3 tablespoons roasted garlic.
• To store, wrap the roasted cloves tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
The longer that garlic roasts, the mellower — and sweeter, even slightly nuttier — it becomes.
Garlic, like leeks and onions, is a member of the allium (lily) family. Its pungent scent originates in alliinase, an enzyme that "asserts itself when cell walls inside the garlic cloves are cut or crushed," writes Leanne Kitchen in "The Produce Bible." "The more finely the garlic is cut, the more of this sulfurous compound gets released, which has distinct consequences for cooking with garlic. Heat destroys alliinase so the longer you cook garlic, and the higher the heat it is cooked at, the milder the resulting flavor."
128 Cafe, 128 N. Cleveland Av., St. Paul, 651-645-4128, www.the128cafe.com. Open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday.