Balsamic Roast Garlic with Thyme

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We ate brunch at the Two Pups café in Francis Street in Dublin and had what they called ‘black garlic’ with a poached egg salad. We asked them how to make it so this is an approximation of the chef’s recipe (to whom we owe a debt of thanks). Squeeze the bulbs and eat it on bread, add it to salad dressings and use to garnish any roast meat, chicken or vegetable and drizzle poached eggs on toasted sourdough bread with the oil. (A quick note: black garlic is actually fermented so while this garlic certainly becomes black as the balsamic vinegar caramelises, it’s not technically ‘black garlic’).

Recipe doubles, trebles or quadruples easily – it lasts a few weeks in the fridge in a Kilner jar once you keep it topped up with oil.


Unpeeled cloves from two bulbs of garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 120C/250F/Gas 1. Put everything into a well-fitting baking dish (the one in the picture is about 4 inches round) pushing the thyme under the oil so it doesn’t burn and bake for 2-3 hours or longer if you can bear it. Keep an eye on it and stir it every hour. The garlic should become dark and sticky and there should be enough liquid to store the garlic in when it’s ready.

Why  not include a squished bulb of balsamic-roasted garlic in the dressing for our Fattoush Bread Salad?

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