Roasted garlic

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Picture of 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.
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Step 1: You'll Need. . .

Picture of 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

Picture of 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

Picture of 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
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 (author)  Shakeysister2 years ago
So glad it helped out!
Derelict6 years ago
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 (author)  Derelict6 years ago
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.
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 (author)  mousewrites5 years ago
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.
ahavajora6 years ago
Is there an advantage of using this garlic roaster over foil/parchment paper?
shesparticular (author)  ahavajora6 years ago
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.
wupme6 years ago
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 (author)  wupme6 years ago
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.
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 (author)  wupme6 years ago
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.
implaxis6 years ago
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.
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 (author)  arbitrarylogic6 years ago
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 -