If you're a garlic lover, learning how to roast garlic is essential as roasting the entire head of garlic will let you indulge in the warm cloves fresh from the oven. Also, many would contend that roasted garlic lends a more subtle flavor than does fresh garlic, rendering it more suitable for a variety of dishes.
How to Roast Garlic
Roasting garlic is not difficult at all and the result is bliss. Start by selecting the best fresh garlic, using the right kitchenware and finishing with a drizzle of butter or even truffle oil.
Many people just pick up some garlic in the produce section figuring that there isn't too much to know about a head of garlic. However, the results of your roasted garlic will be superior if you pay attention to selecting the best possible heads of garlic.
- Examine the thin layer of skin on the head. The layer should be intact and white. If it is shriveled and brown, this is a sign that the garlic is not as fresh as it could be.
- Look for a heavy head. You want to find garlic that feels heavy for its size. A head of garlic that feels light is probably dehydrated.
- Look for sprouts. If you see any sprouting on the garlic, chances are that it is bitter. Don't buy a head of garlic that has sprouts!
- See if the garlic is soft. You should avoid garlic that is soft.
Step by Step Directions
To roast garlic, you will need a shallow pan where the garlic can rest comfortably without being too squished. A muffin pan works particularly well for this purpose; however, you can also use an oven safe sauté pan or any other small shallow baking dish. To prep the heads of garlic, cut off the stems to expose the ends of the cloves. Make sure you leave the paper like skin on. After trimming the garlic and placing it in a shallow baking pan, follow these step by step directions for roasted garlic perfection:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- After placing the garlic heads into the roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil. Use your fingers to rub the oil into the cloves.
- Season the garlic heads with sea salt and pepper.
- Wrap the heads in foil.
- Roast the garlic heads for 30 to 35 minutes. The cloves should be soft enough to pierce easily when poked with a sharp paring knife.
- Let the garlic cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
Enjoying Roasted Garlic
Most garlic lovers enjoy roasted garlic simply by popping the cloves out of their skin and pairing the warm garlic with some toasted French bread and herbed olive oil for dipping. However, there are a variety of things you can do with roasted garlic that will add pizazz to your dishes:
- Add it to any of your pasta sauces including marinara sauce and alfredo sauce.
- Add it to a balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
- Jazz up your mashed potatoes by adding one clove per four potatoes.
- Put it on top of your pizza.
- Include it in your roasted vegetable dish.