Introduction: Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic is delicious on toasted French bread or added to a sauce, and it's easy to make. Here are three simple methods to do it at home.

Step 1: You'll Need. . .

- whole heads/bulbs of garlic (make sure to get nice, tight heads with the skin still on them and as intact as possible)
- some salt
- a bit of olive oil

Depending on the method described that you want to try:
method 1: a store-bought garlic roasting device
method 2: some aluminum foil
method 3: a small terracotta pot and saucer - make sure that the pot when inverted fits within the saucer snugly

Step 2: Preparing the Garlic

To get the garlic ready for roasting:
1. Cut off about .25 inch from the pointy end of the garlic bulb
2. Set it on the uncut flat end
3. Apply about two teaspoons of olive oil
4. Sprinkle with salt
5. Use one of the following methods to roast it

Please remember that whatever method you use, it's going to be really hot when you take it out of the oven.

Step 3: With a Store-Bought Roasting Device

I don't remember where I picked this up (I think it was Crate and Barrel), but this cute little garlic roaster makes the process very simple. It's basically a glazed dish with a silicone cap that has a few holes in it to allow steam to escape.

To use something like this, just:
1. Prepare the garlic as described previously (cutting off a section from the pointy end and applying a bit of olive oil and salt to the cut end)
2. Place it uncut side down
3. Slip on the cap
4. Roast at 400 degrees (F) for 30-35 minutes
5. When it's nice and toasty brown, let it cool slightly and squeeze the cloves out

Step 4: With Aluminum Foil

For this method, you'll just need a piece of aluminum foil (a square about as big as a standard roll is wide). The foil doesn't need to be folded up this way - that would make it a lot harder to use it to wrap your garlic.

1. Prepare the garlic as described previously (cutting off a section from the pointy end and applying a bit of olive oil and salt to the cut end)
2. Place it uncut side down in the center of the foil
3. Wrap the rest of the foil up and around the bulb - not too snugly, but not with tons of space either
4. Roast at 400 degrees (F) for 30-35 minutes
5. When it's nice and toasty brown, let it cool slightly and squeeze the cloves out

Step 5: With a Small Pot and Saucer

If you have a small terracotta pot and saucer on hand, this method might be the easiest and most effective due to the wonderful transfer and retention of heat that the terracotta allows (the drainage hole in the pot also allows steam to escape). Make sure that the pot you select is just big enough to cover the garlic bulb without touching it, and that when it is inverted, it fits snugly within the saucer.

1. Prepare the garlic as described previously (cutting off a section from the pointy end and applying a bit of olive oil and salt to the cut end)
2. Place it uncut side down on the saucer
3. Put the pot over it
4. Roast at 400 degrees (F) for 30-35 minutes
5. When it's nice and toasty brown, let it cool slightly and squeeze the cloves out

Step 6: Storing Roasted Garlic

To store your roasted garlic, you can:
1. Leave it in the bulb instead of squeezing the cloves out. Just wrap it in foil and it will keep for a few days in the fridge without drying out
2. Squeeze the cloves out and put them in a small jar with enough olive oil to cover them, they'll keep longer this way than wrapped in foil
3. Smash the cloves using the side of a knife and mix with a pinch of salt to make an even paste. Combine this with some softened butter and some fresh or dried herbs (basil and oregano or tarragon would be nice, also lemon juice and/or zest). This can then be formed into a log and wrapped with plastic wrap and put in the freezer. This type of compound butter is great on toasted bread, stirred into rice or pasta dishes, added to a sauce, or added to fish or vegetables when steaming in foil pouches.


Shakeysister made it!(author)2012-04-26

Thank you for these suggestions. I love roasted garlic for our mashed potatoes but dislike the energy waste of roasting garlic only when I need it. I stocked up on fresh garlic on sale today and am roasting a delicious batch of it now! The compound butter sounds perfect.

shesparticular made it!(author)2012-04-26

So glad it helped out!

Derelict made it!(author)2009-03-08

I put a whole bulb in a small glass dish, pore a little water over it then drain, cover with cling wrap and nuke for 1 minute.. The garlic is nice and tender and can be mashed with a fork and mixed with butter for garlic toast. I just eat the whole bulb right away though :) As an aside, I have not had a cold or the flu in years and the only time I reek of garlic is when I have been drinking beer instead of my normal water. It is my understanding that you only smell of garlic when you are passing impurities.

shesparticular made it!(author)2009-03-08

I never thought to try steaming garlic this way - I'll have to give it a shot. Maybe it would also work adding cloves (instead of the whole bulb) in a dish with some veggies and then steaming the whole lot.

mousewrites made it!(author)2009-08-17

I've never done a whole bulb, but I have nuked veggies with pealed garlic cloves. As I don't nuke very long (crunchy veggies ftw) they don't become the buttery soft loveliness that roasting gives you, but they are tasty. A longer trip in the rice cooker (which we use for steaming veggies) is also a easy way to soften garlic... but again, not quite as good as the oven. :D Awesome instrucable. I'm going to try the terracotta pot soon.

shesparticular made it!(author)2009-08-17

Thanks so much! The tiny pots and saucer (I think they're about 2.5" tall) are perfect for one clove, but you could probably put a few in a larger pot.

ahavajora made it!(author)2009-03-13

Is there an advantage of using this garlic roaster over foil/parchment paper?

shesparticular made it!(author)2009-03-13

I offered the three methods (store-bought roaster, foil, and a small terracotta pot and saucer) to show that no, there is not much of a difference really in the result and that the same cooking temperature and time can be used with all three. It's really a matter of what one has available or would like to use.

wupme made it!(author)2009-03-08

Instead of smashing it, i (and most cooks) would recommend cutting it to fine squares with a really sharp knive. That way the Garlic won't start to oxidate ( wich makes it taste bitter). Only smash it if you intend to use it instantly in a soup or something. On the other hand, if used instantly, a press gives the most flavor.... Yeah, so it depends on the situation wich method to use. But know i'm hungry, i'm gonna roast myself some garlic :-)

shesparticular made it!(author)2009-03-08

In terms of fresh garlic, yes, I would also recommend chopping it to prevent oxidation - however I don't tend to cut (or even peel) garlic until I'm going to use it. Usually rather than smashing it, I grate it or chop it. However, with garlic that has been roasted, I don't think that oxidation is an issue - at least not that I've ever seen.

wupme made it!(author)2009-03-09

It can happen with roasted garlic. To be honest, its rare, but i've seen it happen. I'm somebody who always trys to stay on the safe side and don't such things a chance to happen ;-)

shesparticular made it!(author)2009-03-09

Just to note, the suggestion of crushing or smashing the garlic here is after it's roasted, and it is then suggested to put it in a container where it is covered with olive oil or to mix it with softened butter. In either case, as it is surrounded by a lipid, it would not be possible for air to get to the surface of the garlic, and so it cannot oxidize.

implaxis made it!(author)2009-03-09

I used to have a garlic roaster and I recall it saying to put the garlic in cut side down. This causes the garlic to absorb the oil and salt and creates a little caramelization on the contact side. You'd have to adjust the cooking time but the end result is quite tasty.

arbitrarylogic made it!(author)2009-03-08

Surprising how something so simple makes a wonderful addition to just about anything! Also, as a proponent of better living through chemistry, I can appreciate those scientifically labeled salt and pepper shakers in the first step. :]

shesparticular made it!(author)2009-03-08

Thanks, arb - they are pretty great, aren't they? My knives are from the same company (Fred) and are in the background of some of the shots, though I don't think they're all that clear. Both are available from Think Geek and other stores -

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