How To: Roast Garlic
I have been meaning to blog about this for forEVER! If you have never done it before, you are in for a tremendous treat! Not only is it ridiculously easy, but once you eat it and cook with it, you will wonder how you ever got along without it. I will post some recipes using roasted garlic in the future, but for now, here is your step by step instructions. Lets get started!
2-3 heads (or bulbs) of garlic
salt and pepper
In the above picture you can see three heads, or bulbs of garlic. Just to be clear, the individual pieces are called cloves. If you are going to roast garlic, I recommend doing at least 2 heads so that you have enough to use in a recipe, but you can do as many or as few as you want! Generally, you should avoid any heads that have green shoots growing from them as this some times makes the garlic kind of bitter. Look for bulbs that are nice and tight with no blemishes.
First, cut the head of garlic in half, crosswise-not stem to stem, exposing the individual cloves.
Depending on the size of your bulb, this may take some muscle. It will also smell great. Mmm. Fresh garlic…Remove any extra paper skin from the outside, leaving just enough to hold the cloves together.
Place the garlic halves on a small piece of aluminum foil. Aren’t they pretty? I love garlic.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
If you want to be like me, fold the foil into a nice little packet, leaving room for air to circulate. If you are less particular, just gather up the foil and wrap it up. Its all good.
Isn’t it cute? Now throw that puppy in a 350 degree oven for about a half hour. You want the garlic soft and buttery.
This is where you can mess with the process a bit. Sometimes I put it in the toaster oven. If I am already using my oven for something, I will throw garlic in to save time. If the oven is set lower, I roast the garlic a little longer and vice versa. As long as the oven isn’t set really hot, because then the garlic might burn. And burned garlic is NOT yummy.
Behold! The sweet goodness of roasted garlic! Your house will smell so good, do not open your windows unless you want the neighbors to come running. At this point, I suggest popping out a clove and just eating one straight up. No sharp garlic taste, just unbelievable sweetness and amazing flavor. So now what do you do?
Grab one half and gently squeeze the whole thing into a small bowl. The cloves will pop right out. You may have to turn it and squeeze again to get all of them out, but the skins generally stay put. You can leave them like this, or…
…mash with a fork. Either way you can eat it just like this.
Smear it on a piece of bread, a sandwich or mix it into a bazillion different things.
Uses for roasted garlic (including but not limited to):
* turn it into a dip
* stir it into mashed potatoes
* mash and smear on a pizza, or leave the cloves whole and sprinkle them on
* stir the cloves into cooked brown rice with salt and pepper and plenty of freshly chopped parsley
* add it to an alfredo sauce and toss with the pasta of your choice
* add it to your favorite mac & cheese recipe
* toss it with steamed green beans
* mix it into scrambled eggs
* top a salad with it
* stir it into your favorite potato salad
* puree it into hummus
* marinade freshly chopped tomatoes with roasted garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, and a splash of red wine vinegar then top crostini with it
Leave your favorite ideas in the comments below and enjoy!