Place garlic cloves on baking sheet or casserole dish with oil and salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil or lid and bake in oven pre-heated to 325° for 30 minutes to one hour (depends on the size of the garlic clove). To check for doneness a fork should easily pierce the garlic.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for ten minutes.
To remove the flesh from the cloves hold each clove and press gently, squeezing the flesh through the sprouting end of the clove. Some parts of the clove may be a deep golden brown. This is due to caramelization of the sugars in the clove during cooking. Take care to include this part.
Place roasted garlic, olive oil and thyme in a food processor and mix for 30 seconds or until desired consistency is achieved. A potato masher can be used instead of a processor.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve on crackers or toasted baguette slices.
Can be accompanied with an assortment of savoury toppings such as, goat mozzarella or gruyère cheese, thin sliced roasted bell pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, olives or, capers. Suggested sweet toppings include pure peach marmalade, mango chutney or brandied plum jam.
Chef’s Note: The roast garlic spread can also be used as a base in soup, (see Flu Fighter Garlic Soup), in sandwiches (see Roast Garlic Grilled Cheese Sandwich) or, as a condiment in a baked potato.