How to Roast Garlic
Different Ways of Roasting Garlic
Some people love garlic raw, some love it fried, and some love it roasted with that mellow flavor and aroma. One of the best varieties of garlic you may use for roasting is the purple striped Guatemalan, but you may use any garlic available in your kitchen.
A miraculous transformation happens when you roast garlic. Its pungency is muted as the slow cooking process vaporizes its sulphuric compounds. The natural sugars come out and the hard cloves are transformed into a soft, squishy, and spreadable lump of goodness. After the baking or roasting process, the garlic cloves can be squeezed out of with your fingers. What comes out is a buttery flesh of garlic totally transformed for your enjoyment.
Cooking Garlic in a Terra Cotta Cooker:
- Gently rub off several layers of the papery outer cover of the garlic head using your thumb. Slice at least ¼ inch off the top of each head, exposing the meaty part of each clove. Using a fork, prick the tops of the cloves.
- Put the heads of garlic on the base of the terra cotta (ideally about 7 inches in diameter to accommodate at least five or more bulbs) and pour olive oil on the tops of each head making sure to cover each and every clove. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste, or fresh dried herbs of your choice. Now, cover the cooler with the lid.
- Always follow the instructions of your terra cotta cooker. Place the covered cooker in a cold oven. Turn the temperature to 300 degrees. Bake for at least one hour or until the cloves have become soft. Take out the lid, and bake for 20minutes more or until the tops of the cloves turn brown.
- Serve one head of roasted garlic per person while it is still warm.
Cooking Garlic at High Heat:
- Place some partially peeled, top sliced off, garlic head on an oven safe pan. Lightly brush with olive oil and bathe with water or stock.
- On a pre-heated oven of about 500 degrees, leave the pan inside for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool and serve. This method results in a more nutty flavored roasted garlic
Boy Scout Method
- Using partially peeled , top sliced off, garlic heads (1-3 pieces, depending on how much you need for the occasion) place on aluminum foil.
- Fold the edges of the foil to avoid spilling the oil
- Drizzle the exposed tops of cloves with olive oil. Add salt and/or pepper to taste.
- Wrap the foil around the garlic heads but make sure you leave the top open. This is to brown the tops and avoid steaming the garlic.
- Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees. Put in the garlic heads and leave for 30-45 minutes
- No fancy cookware needed, clean up is a breeze. The result is much closer to the ones cooked in a terra cotta cooker.
No Special Treatment
Take a whole head of garlic, unpeeled and uncut.
Put in an oven at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
This will result in a slightly blackened spots on your garlic but will be very soft. You will need a spoon to take out the flesh because the result is a much stickier garlic than the other methods mentioned.
No Waste Method
- Peel excess skin on the garlic head. Cut the head in half along the width
- In a small oven glass dish, pour olive oil. Place garlic head cut side on top of oil
- Cook for an hour at 350 degrees or until cloves are squishy.
Detached Clove Method
- Break the garlic head into individual cloves. Remove excess skin
- Put the cloves in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil. No need to put a lot of olive oil since the strong garlic flavor will overpower it anyway. The idea here is to coat the cloves evenly with the oil, not swim on it.
- Place the cloves in a single layer, on a parchment lined baking sheet
- Bake for 20 minutes making sure it does not burn. Check every five minutes. When the clove gives under your finger when you press down on it, it is ready to serve. It is known that this method gives a higher yield as compared to the whole head method, where some of the cloves don’t even come out.
How to Enjoy Your Roasted Garlic
Allow your roasted garlic to cool a bit. Make sure it is still warm when serving. Use your fingers to squeeze out the now soft garlic out of their papery skins.
Spread roasted garlic on bread dipped in olive oil or add it to cream cheese
Use it on any pasta dish. Add some olive oil, broccoli and Parmesan cheese.
Use roasted garlic on your sauces such as gravy, spaghetti sauce or on your salad dressing. You can also add it to mayonnaise or softened butter.
Roasted garlic replaces the use of raw garlic on your favorite soup. Taste is greatly improved.
Add to any type of cooked vegetables like broccoli, artichokes, asparagus, greens and on mashed potatoes
Enjoy it as is, squeeze out and pop one to your mouth.
- Should there be any excess roasted garlic, you can wrap it in foil, intact on its husk and refrigerate.
- Squeeze out from husk, store in a jar then add enough olive oil to cover them. Put inside refrigerator. This will extend its shelf life for about 4-5 days. Careful not to use after more than 5 days old of this roasted garlic and olive oil combination. Botulism toxin occurs in some perfect conditions.
Tips Before You Indulge
There are no health hazards or side effects known for average levels of garlic consumption. For those with sensitive stomach, ingesting garlic may cause gastrointestinal distress. Frequent contact has isolated cases of allergic skin reaction. Don’t mix medicinal doses with hypertension medications or with blood thinners, including aspirin, taken for heart-attack prevention. Garlic’s anti-clotting action could cause problems for those with existing clotting disorders.