whole garlic heads olive oil butter water salt and pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Slice top from heads of garlic and trim roots even with base of bulbs. Remove some of the papery skin from outside of heads but do not separate cloves. Place heads in a small baking dish, and drizzle each head with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired. Dot heads with butter and drizzle 2 tablespoon water over them. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake one hour and 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes more. Cool briefly before serving.
As it bakes in the oven, the garlic becomes sweet and develops a buttery texture. It is delicious spread on crusty French bread along with cream cheese or turned into a garlic sauce for beef or lamb. Leftovers need never be discarded: whisk the garlic into soups or sauces for a wonderful flavour boost.
To cook in a microwave, drizzle the peeled garlic heads with oil and cook 10 to 12 minutes at full power, in a covered dish. (Do not use tin foil.)