As garlic roasts, its pungent, aggressive flavor mellows, and the cloves turn into a nutty, sweet, almost buttery spread that's delicious when slathered on crusty bread as a simple appetizer. We'll teach you how to oven-roast garlic so you can serve this savory spread with dinner tonight!

October 26, 2015

If you've never tried roasting an entire bulb of garlic before, now is the time to try! After roasting, garlic's flavor becomes more mild, making it great for spreads, compound butters, and sauces. We'll show you how to do it, including how to roast garlic in the oven, how to roast garlic on your grill, and some of the mouthwatering ways you can put your roasted garlic to good use. We also have a few tips for how long to roast garlic.

Step 1: Prep the garlic

Look for a medium to large bulb (also called a head) of garlic for roasting. Larger cloves are easier to separate and provide more garlic paste per clove. Using a sharp knife, cut off the top 1/2 inch of the garlic bulb to expose the ends of the individual cloves. Leaving the garlic bulb whole, remove any loose, papery outer layers.

Tip: One medium garlic bulb yields about 15 cloves of garlic or about 1 tablespoon of garlic paste. You can roast multiple bulbs at once.

Step 2: Prepare garlic for roasting

Place the bulb, cut end up, on a double thickness of foil or in a custard cup or small baking dish. Drizzle bulb with 1 tablespoon olive oil. If desired, season with salt and pepper. If using foil, bring foil up and around bulb, folding edges together to loosely enclose. If using a custard cup or baking dish, cover with foil.

Tip: You can also make roasted garlic in a muffin tin. Just place one bulb, cut end up, in each cup, then drizzle with oil and season as desired. Cover the muffin tin with foil before baking, just as you would if you were roasting garlic in a baking dish.

Step 3: Roast until soft

Roast the garlic in a preheated 400°F oven about 25 minutes or until garlic feels soft when squeezed. Cool slightly before handling.

Step 4: Serve the roasted garlic

You can serve the paste warm or cooled to room temperature. For an appetizer, serve the whole bulb warm. Using the tip of a small knife, remove the paste from each clove. Serve with slices of baguette or crackers for spreading; if desired, add a wedge of cheese. To use roasted garlic in cooking, squeeze the cooled bulb from the bottom of the papery husk, and the garlic paste will pop out.

6 Easy Ways to Use Roasted Garlic

1. Mix roasted garlic paste with a little olive oil and toss with hot cooked pasta and grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese.

2. Stir it into plain soft-style cream cheese, add a little softened butter, and season with a sprinkle of snipped fresh thyme and rosemary or Italian seasoning. Spread onto crackers, toast, or grilled baguette slices.

3. Add it to a vinaigrette made with one part red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar to two parts olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Combine it with softened butter and rub over a roasting chicken.

5. Toss it into tomato sauce or pesto and use as a sauce for pizza.

6. Stir it into olive oil or butter, add a squeeze of lemon, and toss with hot cooked new potatoes, asparagus, carrots, or a veggie mélange.

How to Make Grill-Roasted Garlic

Prep the garlic bulb as directed for roasting, except fold a 20x12-inch piece of heavy foil in half crosswise. Place the garlic bulb, cut end up, in the center of the foil square and drizzle with the oil. Bring up opposite edges of the foil and seal with a double fold. Fold the remaining edges together to completely enclose the garlic, leaving space for steam to build. For a charcoal grill, arrange preheated coals around the edge of the grill. Test for medium heat. Place garlic on the grill rack in center of grill. Grill, covered, about 30 minutes or until garlic feels soft when packet is squeezed. For a gas grill: Preheat grill. Adjust heat for indirect grilling. Reduce heat to medium. Place garlic on the grill rack over unlit side. Cover and grill as above.


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