Yield: 4 servings
|Sprigs fresh thyme
|Sprigs fresh rosemary
|Rye bread or other good bread; lightly toasted
|A handful of fresh herbs; (eg basil, parsley,
|; chives, chervil),
|; finely chopped
|Salt and freshly ground black pepper
|150 g young fresh goat's cheese
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas 3. Neaten up the heads of garlic by removing any loose pieces of papery skin. Trim the roots. With a sharp knife cut the papery skin off the top of the garlic, just exposing the very tips of the cloves.Arrange the garlic heads in a fairly close fitting ovenproof dish and pour the water around them. Drizzle olive oil over garlic heads and tuck rosemary and thyme around them. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for a further 15-30 minutes, basting occasionally with their own juices, until the garlic is tender and gives when pressed. Add a little extra water if it is drying out.
Beat the goat's cheese with the herbs, salt and pepper to taste, and pile into a bowl. To serve, give everyone their head of garlic and some of the herby cooking oil, slices of toast, napkins and finger bowls. Using fingers, guests should squeeze the individual creamy cloves of garlic like tubes of toothpaste on to their toast, drizzle with the herby oil, and eat with a dab of soft cheese.
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