Roasted Garlic

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I get so hung up in trying new recipes and making up recipes that I forget to highlight techniques and easy things that can really enhance a dish. I love garlic, but it can be kind of harsh and overpowering sometimes. Roasting garlic can bring out all of its inherent sweetness, and it couldn’t be easier.

This one isn’t even worth a recipe, just a description of the process. Take a whole head of garlic and peel off most of the outer paper covering. Make sure you leave enough to keep the whole thing together. Snip off the very tips of each clove with kitchen shears or nip them off with a sharp knife. Place the garlic in a small pan and drizzle with just a bit of olive oil. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, or until cloves feel soft inside when pressed. If garlic is getting too brown before it gets soft, cover the pan with foil for the last few minutes of cooking. Once the garlic is soft, let it cool enough to handle and squeeze the soft, roasted garlic out of each clove like squeezing a tube of toothpaste. If your garlic isn’t quite soft enough, like my last batch, run a knife through it to chop it into small pieces.

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You now have a stash of rich, nutty garlic paste to add to pizza or pasta sauce, spread onto pizza crust instead of sauce, add to rubs for meat or add to butter or olive oil to make killer garlic bread.

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Be sure you double wrap it in the fridge, or store it in double containers, to contain the garlic aroma. You don’t want your garlicky goodness to take over your entire fridge, especially your butter. While garlic bread is good, garlic-tainted butter on your breakfast toast isn’t necessarily a good thing.

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8 thoughts on “Roasted Garlic

  1. My mom loves garlic! We all do, but, she eats it because it’s so good for you. Kind of as a snack as your previous commenter. We use tonnes of garlic in our cooking, but, I have to remember to roast several garlic heads and store them as you suggested. I never do that and I know roasted garlic is so tasty. Thanks for the reminder and the tip to make extra and to store it carefully.

  2. Sarah,
    It seems that most of the garlic available around here is starting to sprout. When it starts to sprout, I find that the new shoot is very bitter. Have you ever roasted garlic when the new shoot was already starting to grow? Did roasting mellow the flavor?
    Thanks!

    • Tom,
      I haven’t roasted it with the shoots. I usually buy elephant garlic and it is often sprouting. I haven’t done this, but I imagine you could separate the cloves and take out the sprout. The you could bake it, drizzled with a little oil, and covered. It would take less time than a whole head, of course. Let me know if it works if you try it. 🙂

  3. Sarah,
    I roast a good portion of my garlic harvest each June, freeze the cloves singly on a cookie sheet, and transfer the cloves to a freezer bag once they are rock hard. Over the remainder of the year I use them in all sorts of dishes, and I love how the garlic just melts into a dish.
    I’ve got a teeny bit left, but my garlic is growing great right now, so the end is in sight.

    I’ll have to try it as a meat rub–that’s a great idea.
    Thanks!

    • I need to roast more of my garden garlic this year. Thanks for the reminder that it is easy to do in bulk! I love making it into a meat rub – I make a paste with the garlic, a little olive oil and dried spices that I smear on the meat before cooking.

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