ROASTED GARLIC BUTTER
- 2 large, plump heads garlic (about 3Â˝ ounces each)
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at roomÂ temperature
- 2 large heads broccoli (3 pounds)
Roasted garlic has become a classic American flavorâ€”Â future cooks may regard it in the same way we do theÂ Pilgrimsâ€™ pumpkin.
- To make the roasted garlic butter, position the rack inÂ the center of the oven and preheat to 400Â°F.
- Cut each garlic head in half crosswise. Drizzle the cutÂ surfaces with the oil, then season with a sprinkle of salt andÂ pepper. Put the halves back together to re-form into heads.Â Wrap each head in aluminum foil and place on a bakingÂ sheet. Bake until the garlic is tender when squeezed andÂ the cut surfaces are deep beige (open up the foil to check),Â about 35 minutes. Cool completely.
- Squeeze the soft garlic flesh out the hulls into a smallÂ bowl. Add the butter, Â˝ teaspoon salt, and Â˝ teaspoonÂ pepper. Using a rubber spatula, mash the garlic and butterÂ until well combined. Cover tightly and refrigerate until readyÂ to use. (The garlic butter can be prepared up to 3 daysÂ ahead.) Bring to room temperature before using.
- To prepare the broccoli, cut off the tops and separateÂ into florets. Using a sharp paring knife, trim the thick skin offÂ the stems. Cut the pared stems crosswise into Â˝-inchÂ rounds. (The broccoli can be prepared up to 1 day ahead,Â stored in plastic bags, and refrigerated.)
- Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boilÂ over high heat. Add the broccoli stems and cook for 2Â minutes. Add the florets and cook until the broccoli is crisptender,Â about 2 more minutes. Drain quickly and return toÂ the warm cooking pot. Do not drain the broccoli completelyÂ dryâ€”leave some water clinging to the broccoli.
- Add the softened garlic butter to the broccoli and mixÂ gently, allowing the butter to melt and combine with theÂ small amount of water in the pot to form a light sauce.Â Transfer to a warmed serving bowl and serve immediately.