Garlic is widely popular in cuisines around the world, and the onion-like vegetable is used for everything from flavoring bread to improving the taste of homestyle pasta. While garlic is commonly chopped, crushed, grated, or minced, you can also roast entire heads of garlic and eat the cloves fresh out of the oven or use them as a condiment. Roasting garlic requires just 40 minutes of your time and is well worth it with the delicious flavors of roasted garlic cloves and the health benefits of garlic.
How to Roast Garlic in the Oven
Roasting raw garlic changes its chemical makeup so the garlic becomes easier to digest. Eating too much raw garlic comes at the risk of side effects, but you can eat much more cooked garlic without feeling sick. Those who are sensitive to uncooked garlic may find it much easier to eat roasted garlic, and the caramelized cloves can be eaten plain or added to other recipes.
- All you need are the heads of garlic, however many you want to use, and extra virgin olive oil.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Peel away the papery layers of each whole garlic head. Keep the skin of the individual cloves of garlic intact.
- Grab a sharp knife and cut at most a half-inch off the top of the head of garlic so you can see the individual cloves.
- Place the garlic heads cut side up in a baking sheet pan or a muffin pan to keep them from rolling around.
- Drizzle with olive oil before placing the pan in the hot oven. Two or three teaspoons of olive oil should be enough for each head, just make sure you spread the oil around to the entire head so all the cloves are lightly covered.
- Cover each garlic bulb in aluminum foil or parchment paper. This locks in the heat for perfect roasting conditions.
- Place the baking sheets in the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes
- Once the roasted garlic is lightly browned and soft to the touch, remove from the oven.
- Let the garlic cool for a few minutes. Once cooled, take a small knife to lightly cut the skin of each clove. While a fork is the best tool for squeezing or pulling the garlic cloves out of the skin, you can do this by hand too.
- Eat the roasted garlic as is or add to mashed potatoes and baked dishes. Sprinkle with any extra seasoning like freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Healthy Perks of Roasted Garlic
Roasting garlic makes a wonderful snack all on its own, especially if you're interested in the health properties of garlic, such as:
- Medicinal sulfur compounds that are known to support the digestive and immune systems, particularly against the common cold and other illnesses.
- High levels of Vitamins B1, B6, C, fiber, manganese, fiber, and calcium, with very few calories.
- Active compounds that may reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Antioxidants that protect against cell damage, brain disease, and effects of aging.
Roasted Garlic Recipes
You can enjoy roasted garlic by itself, or you can start adding this delicious flavor to some of your favorite dishes. You can incorporate garlic into soul food, Asian cuisine, Italian classics and so much more. Here are a few tasty recipes to try the next time you roast garlic.
- Garlic pizza - garlic bread, focaccia, or meat/veggie pizza are fan favorites.
- Tomato Gratin - fresh tomatoes, basil, bread crumbs, and garlic baked to perfection.
- Garlic mashed potatoes - especially when they’re sprinkled with black pepper, creamy mashed potatoes make a fabulous side to beef and poultry dishes.
- Garlic and onion-infused hamburgers - adding roasted garlic to hamburger meat before grilling brings out the flavor even more.
- Garlic spread - combine with mustard or mayonnaise for a yummy jam or spread for sandwiches and burgers.
- Garlic soup - garlic can be added to any of your favorite soups for a subtle yet succulent flavor.
- Garlic guacamole or hummus - mix roasted garlic into these spreads for an extra kick.
Once you try roasted garlic for yourself, leave a comment, and share your successful recipe or any tips and tricks.