There is something about the slow cook that sweetens everyone. Roasted garlic becomes less sharp, deeper, sweeter, and in some ways more powerful of a flavor in dishes— a more enduring flavor.
Roasting is also a way you can preserve garlic to extend its life. Maybe you grew some or scored an awesome deal on a pile of garlic from your Farmer’s Market but you’re not sure if it will keep long enough to use it—roasting and freezing is a great way to love it a little longer. It’s also a way to have it handy for whatever you might be cooking.
Oooo….someone is trying to learn Photoshop.
Delicious ways to use roasted garlic:
- Mashed potatoes
- Soups: creamy dairy ones, hearty bean ones, light tomato ones…pretty much any soup
- Dressings or vinaigrettes
- Mixed into meatloaf or burgers
- Rolled into roasts with dried fruit and herbs
- Slathered on pizza or focaccia
- Crostini with fresh herbs or pesto, and tomatoes—especially with Chèvre goat cheese
- Macaroni and cheese
- Cream sauces
- On vegetables
- On roasted chicken
- Sauces and gravies
- Aioli—or mix in with mayonnaise for a quick aioli
- In almost any pasta sauce
- Mixed with olive oil for drizzling
- On sandwiches
What savory food is roasted garlic NOT good on??
This bulb was a variety of hardeck garlic from the Farmer’s Market. They are closer to the wild varieties and have very complex flavors, though they don’t keep as long as the softnecks. Take care when slicing hardneck bulbs—they get their name for a reason. I sliced this one all the way around, scored the neck, then snapped it off by hand. A few extra steps but the flavor is worth it.
“Growing Great Garlic” by Ron Engeland is a favorite production guide for all that is garlic.
The bulbs below are the more commercially common softneck variety. I try to slice so that all cloves have at least a break in the skin so it’s easier to squeeze out the mushy goodness after roasting. I also use a little water with oil in the pan—many recipes don’t use water, but it works well and it’s the way I learned at the Loring Café oh so many years ago.
I’ve served pork loin at two catered meals this month—after brining them for two days in water with sugar, salt, and peppercorns they were slathered with a paste-o-flavor (roasted garlic, chopped fresh rosemary/thyme, nutmeg, and smoked paprika), then let rest for a couple of hours to allow the flavors soak in, then dry-roasted on a rack in the oven.
Mighty, mighty tasty.
Tis the Halloween season of ghouls and vampires so it’s good to eat garlic in any form…just in case.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour
Slice off about 3/4 inch of the tops of garlic bulb, so that a tiny bit of each clove is exposed.
Place bulbs top-down into a roasting/baking pan with sides at least as high as the bulbs.
Drizzle water and oil (olive, or your choice) into the pan, covering about half of the bulbs.
Cover with tight lid or foil.
Bake in 350 degree oven for around 1 hour or until the bulbs are mushy.
Let cool a little, then squeeze garlic out of the skins.
Use or freeze the roasted garlic in small containers or ice cube trays.
Simmer the skins to make a delicious soup stock. I’m pretty sure this would keep away vampires as well.