If you know anything about me, it’s that I have permanent garlic fingers and I LIKE IT. No shame. We use garlic in a lot of our recipes and I ALWAYS have a bulb or two in our produce basket. Ripping a clove off the bulb, cutting off the hardened end, and smashing it underneath my knife to release the aroma is on the top of my list for favorite things to do. Does that sound crazy? Yeah, it’s crazy. So be it. I’m Italian and garlic runs through my veins!
Roasting garlic is unbelievably simple and if you have the time to do it, I would highly recommend you try it. When I was in college, I had a signature garlic bread recipe that used smashed and spreadable roasted garlic. It was the BEST garlic bread in the entire world, not because of the butter and parmesan cheese, but because of that roasted garlic. I’m going to have to make a note to share a vegan version of that recipe because I actually haven’t made it in years and I know you guys would really, really, really like it – because it was a HIT at the dinner table, I promise you that.
Anyway, to roast garlic to perfection you just need a hot oven, some tin foil (aluminum foil.. somebody recently made fun of me for saying ‘tin foil’ but WHATEVER that’s how I say it OKAY!), and a bit of olive oil. Oh and fresh garlic bulbs, duhhh.
Preheat your oven to 450°F, and rip off small squares of the foil, enough to cover a bulb but you don’t want to be wasteful and rip off a huge sheet, ya know? Using a sharp knife, slice the top of the bulb off so that most of the cloves are exposed. Wrap the bulb in the tin foil, with the exposed cloves sticking up, and drizzle olive oil on top. Cover the bulb all the way with the tin, but not too tight. Place in your preheated oven for about 45 minutes. You can tell that they’re done when most of the cloves are pushing their way out of the skin.
At this point, you can remove the garlic from the oven. The cloves will be browned and your kitchen will smell like HEAVEN. Let the garlic cool before you move onto the next step. I repeat, let the garlic cool. It will be very hot and you want to get your fingers in there to squeeze the cloves out of the bulb. If your cloves are hard to squeeze out, then you either didn’t cut the tops off enough or they aren’t done yet. You can also use a fork or spoon to coax the cloves out of the bulb but I like to get my fingers all up in that :).
Using roasted garlic instead of ordinary fresh garlic will level-up your recipes with flavor. There are many uses for roasted garlic such as in pasta, obviously, and on that garlic bread that I so love. I WILL do a recipe for that because you and I both NEED it in our lives. You can store the cloves in the fridge for a week or two, you can also freeze them to always have some on hand.
EASY, simple, aromatic roasted garlic method.
- 1 bulb fresh garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 400°F (use a toaster oven to save energy).
Remove excess papery outer layers of garlic bulb, still leaving a thin layer of skin on the cloves. Using a sharp knife, lay the bulb on its side and cut the tips off each clove, exposing them.
Place the garlic bulb on a small piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle olive oil on top, spreading the oil with your fingers to touch each clove. Wrap the bulb loosely in the aluminum foil.
Place in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the cloves are golden brown and soft.
Remove from the oven and let cool before using your fingers to squeeze each clove out of the skin.