Here's a worthwhile time-saver: garlic paste on hand in the fridge, no need to fry off before adding to - well, anything you're cooking, really. You just need a food mill, unless you've got strong arms and a sieve. Keeps well.
8 heads of garlic
2-3 bay leaves
a bunch of thyme
peppercorns and salt
a little oil
Break the heads into cloves, but no need to peel them. Put in a single layer on a baking tray; add the peppercorns and herbs, a splash of oil and enough water to come not quite half way up. Cover the dish with foil. Bake for 90 minutes at 150C, until the garlic is completely soft.
Fish out the pepper and bay leaves, and some of the twiggier bits of thyme. Drain and push through a mill or sieve. Add a little sea salt and bottle. Keep in the fridge.
Note: These quantities make about 300ml.
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