A few months ago I wrote a post about roasting bell peppers, and explained how learning a few basic cooking techniques is so helpful for improvising in the kitchen and getting creative with recipes. There are so many easy cooking staples that pack a ton of flavor that I want to share with you, and today I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about roasting garlic!
Roasted garlic is another one of those simple tricks that adds such a delicious flavor to so many savory dishes. Raw and sautéed garlic certainly have their places in recipes, but roasted garlic is soft and spreadable, and has a much more subtle and caramelized flavor. Plus, it makes your kitchen smell sooo delicious! Your family and friends will thank you, trust me.
I simmer roasted garlic into pasta or pizza sauces, spread it on toasted baguette slices, mix it into mashed potatoes and soups, stir it into vinaigrettes, marinades, and aiolis, spread it on a sandwiches in place of mayo… and essentially add it to anything savory to add another depth of flavor that is unparalleled by its raw and sautéed counterparts. Use the instructions below as a guide to roast more than one head of garlic if you prefer — if you have leftovers you can refrigerate them for up to two weeks or freeze them for about three months.
Preheat oven to 400*. Peel most of the loose outer layers of the garlic, leaving the head intact with all of the cloves still inside. Trim about 1/4 inch off the top to expose the garlic cloves and drizzle the top with a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Wrap up the garlic head(s) in aluminum foil and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the garlic has turned a light caramelized brown. You can roast the garlic longer if you want a more caramelized flavor, just be sure to check on it every couple of minutes until it’s roasted to your desired softness.
Once the garlic has cooled slightly, press on the bottom of each clove to push it out of the skin (I have burned my fingers many times because I didn’t let it cool – it smells heavenly and I couldn’t wait to dip bread into it, so consider yourself warned!). Bon appetit!