There are not too many ingredients that can pack the punch of flavor that you get from roasted garlic. In raw, or even sauteed form, garlic can be a tad bit spicy and intense. Make no mistake, I love garlic, but sometimes I don’t want the flavor to be quite so aggressive and overwhelming. At those times, I like to roast it first. Roasted garlic caramelizes the sugars naturally occurring in the garlic so it gets surprisingly sweet. Once it’s roasted, it can be added to soups, sauces, dressings, or just mashed up and spread on crostini.
I love candied pecans. Are you with me on this? OMG, they are so very very good…and so very very bad for you. I tried to clean them up a bit, cutting out ingredients such as refined sugar and butter and simplifying the process. Making a cleaner, slightly less unhealthy version of candied pecans was fantastic, but I admit that I was driven to make them this way as a direct result of my not wanting to wash a baking sheet. Don’t ask me why, but I hate washing cookie sheets. They are unweildy, they don’t fit well in my sink, and they end up splashing water all over the place. And, in cases like these, they are about 5 times bigger than what I need. So, I fired the cookie sheet for nut toasting purposes and brought out the nonstick skillet. It works just as well and clean up is a bit, well, cleaner.