Roasted garlic deserves it own post. This easy to make and versatile item is often ignored but I am putting it back in the limelight. Roasted garlic is a different experience than fresh garlic. Roasting caramelizes the sugars in the garlic and the result is soft and buttery texture and sweet, mild garlicky flavour that goes with so many dishes. Think a whole head of garlic roasted to golden perfection, fragrant and ready to be squeezed out of it’s papery skin onto awaiting crostini. What can be better?
To roast garlic choose heads with larger cloves that are slightly older (i.e. not new garlic). You can roast the head of garlic whole or break it into individual cloves and roast them together. Drizzle the garlic with a little olive oil and add an herb sprig or two to impart additional subtle herbal notes. I roast the garlic in a sealed package made with foil or parchment (foil is easier to close tight). There are also clay or ceramic garlic roasting dishes that you can buy and use to roast the garlic.
If you are already roasting something in the oven such as vegetables or potatoes, you can always add a head of garlic or a few cloves to roast along with the vegetables.
How to use the roasted garlic?
- Garlic butter – mash into soft butter
- In pesto – add to remaining ingredients and process
- As a spread over crostini on its own or with other toppings
- Mashed into sauce and soups
- With mashed potatoes – mash it right in, it’s delish
- With pasta – whole or mashed
- Spread over pizza under the rest of the filling or scattered on top.
- Mash into salad dressing
- Mash into spreads (humous, eggplant dip)
- Mashed into cheese (goat) for a spread or a dip
And more…let me know if you have an idea.
2-3 large heads of garlic with larger cloves
2 tablespoon olive oil
Optional: a light drizzle of honey
A few sprigs of herbs: rosemary, thyme
For storing: a jar with a tight fitting lid and additional olive oil
Either separate the garlic head into cloves or keep whole.
If you use a whole head you may want to slice off the top on the wide end (see image) to expose some of the flesh. It makes it easy to squeeze the roasted garlic out.
Place the garlic on a foil or parchment paper large enough to wrap around the garlic heads with extra to seal the ends.
Drizzle the garlic with the olive oil, honey if using and add the herb sprigs.
Seal the package and place on a baking sheet.
Roast in a preheated 400℉ for 30-40 minutes until the cloves are buttery soft and golden.
If you don’t use it immediately then squeeze the roasted cloves out, place in a small jar and cover with olive oil. Keep refrigerated, bringing back to room temperature before using.