How to Roast Garlic
It’s the middle of October, and you know what that means. Forget about buying costumes and chocolate. It’s time to plant garlic (planting directions and tips).
Speaking of garlic, it’s also high time we talked about how to roast it.
By roasting garlic, you take away its sometimes harsh, bitter bite and give it a nutty, sweet quality instead. If you don’t normally like garlic, you may find you actually like it when roasted. It’s a whole different animal.
When you pull it out of the oven, not only will it smell incredibly fragrant, but the golden brown cloves will slide easily out of their papery sleeping bags. You’ll be left with a creamy, smooth garlic paste that can be mashed, spread, or mixed into whatever your heart desires. My husband and I have no shame. We’ll squeeze the hot garlic cloves straight onto Artisan Bread smeared with Brie and eat it before it even makes it to the dining room table. Seriously, people, you need this combination in your life.
Even if you don’t consider yourself skilled in the kitchen, as long as you can boil water you can roast garlic. Only, roasting garlic smells way better than boiling water. People will walk into your home and say, “What are you making for dinner? It smells incredible!” And you can just give an effortless laugh, “Oh, that? I’m just roasting garlic.” Sprinkle some sweet cloves on top of your takeout Thai or delivery pizza and your friends and family will be stunned and amazed.
Enough talk. Let’s get started. You’ll need two ingredients: garlic and olive oil. The whole process takes about 45 minutes (only 5 of which is hands-on time) if you follow these three simple steps.
Ready? Here we go.
Using a sharp knife, cut off the top of each head of garlic. Using your fingers, slide off some of the papery outer skin, but don’t separate the cloves.
Place the whole garlic head(s) in a small oven-proof dish. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top of each head.
Place the dish in a pre-heated 400-degree oven for 35-45 minutes.
You’ll know the garlic is ready when it smells fragrant, the cloves are soft, and the tops are golden brown.
Keep the whole bulb of garlic in a sealed container in your refrigerator for up to a week. Or to keep longer, squeeze the individual cloves into a small container and cover them with olive oil. You can also use the garlic-infused olive oil in other dishes.
To store leftover roasted garlic in the freezer, remove the papery shell and smash the cloves using the back of a spoon. Freeze it as a paste or combine this with some softened butter and some fresh or dried herbs (optional). Shape it into a log and wrap with plastic wrap and put in the freezer. This compound butter is great spread on bread, stirred into rice or pasta, or added to steamed fish or vegetables.
Mix it with sour cream, cream cheese, butter, or mayonnaise and use as a topping for baked potatoes, a dip for crackers, or a spread for sandwiches or garlic bread. Or don’t mix it with anything and just spread it straight onto bread – great for sandwiches.
Serve it with a soft cheese and artisan bread as an easy appetizer or side dish.
Combine it with some Parmesan cheese for a delicious add-in to homemade No-Knead Bread.
Toss it on a pizza for a sweet, garlicky kick.
Add it to potatoes right before mashing them.
Substitute it in dishes that call for regular raw garlic: lasagna, stir fry, spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, hummus, or guacamole for a deeper, sweeter garlic flavor.
When working with raw garlic cloves, the Zak Designs E-Z-Rol Garlic Peeler is the best! Place the garlic clove inside the tube, roll it back and forth on your countertop while pressing down with the palm of your hand, and out pops the peeled garlic clove in a few seconds. This is a simple way to peel garlic without smelling like it for the rest of the day. Amazon has this peeler in stock and ready to ship!
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