Roasting turns the sharp garlic flavor into one that is milder and sweeter. Roasted garlic is delicious spread on homemade bread, and it adds a flavorful depth to dips, soups, stews, and salad dressing.
Garlic is used for flavoring in many cuisines around the world. The sharp and pungent flavor of raw garlic is delicious in pesto, salsa, and salad dressings. When garlic is simmered slowly in sauces, soups, and stews, the flavor becomes savory and mild. Finally, roasting transforms garlic into tender and caramelized cloves with a mellow and sweet flavor.
I like to roast up a bunch of garlic all at once and freeze it to use later in recipes such as white bean dip, garlic mashed potatoes, or tossed with your favorite pasta. Roasted garlic can be substituted in any recipe that calls for garlic.
Roasting garlic is simple and the flavor is worth the effort. It is easy to sneak in a pan of garlic to roast in the oven while baking bread or cooking a meal.
How to Choose Garlic at the Store
Select loose garlic so you can choose which bulbs to purchase. Look for large firm bulbs with smooth and dry skins. When you squeeze the garlic, the cloves should feel solid and firm.
Avoid garlic with loose or missing cloves, soft spots, ragged wrappings, or sprouting green shoots. Fresh garlic doesn’t have much of a smell, so skip bulbs that have a strong garlic odor, as these may be moldy or damp inside.
Store garlic in a cool, dark, dry spot until ready to use.
How to Roast Garlic
1. Prepare your garlic cloves by peeling off the loose skins and trimming the tops of the garlic bulbs just enough to expose the flesh of the cloves. Toss the garlic tops into a freezer bag and save for making stock.
2. Arrange the garlic bulbs in a casserole dish that has a cover. Drizzle olive oil on the exposed garlic bulbs, cover, and roast in the oven until the garlic is soft.
3. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skins. When the roasted garlic bulbs are cool enough to handle, gently squeeze each clove out.
You can use roasted garlic in any recipe you would normally use garlic. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze for longer storage.
How to Freeze Roasted Garlic
Mash the roasted garlic with a fork. Use a teaspoon to measure the roasted garlic, and mound it onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Freeze until solid, and then add to freezer zipper bags. This helps prevent the roasted garlic from sticking together allowing you to grab one or two teaspoons as needed for meal preparation. One teaspoon mashed roasted garlic equals approximately one clove of garlic.
- head garlic
- extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 400˚F.
- Remove the loose outer skins and cut about 1/4-inch off the top of each garlic bulb exposing a bit of each clove of garlic.
- Place the garlic in a small covered casserole dish and drizzle with olive oil.
- Cover and roast the garlic in the oven for 30-45 minutes or until the garlic cloves are tender. Remove the garlic from the oven and allow the bulbs to cool.
- Once the garlic bulbs are cool enough to handle, squeeze the roasted garlic out of the bulb into a dish.
Use roasted garlic in any recipe you would normally use garlic. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze for longer storage.