Roasted garlic is fantastic with so many different dishes, let alone eating it by itself. There is a caramelization that occurs that enhances the flavor tremendously.
In this post, I will show you how to best roast garlic in the oven easily. This method will also have a perfect end result, as it won't be over or under roasted. But first, some humor for your reading.
My memory of garlic as a child:
In 1987, a little known movie called The Lost Boys was released.
If you aren’t familiar with this movie, it’s either because you’re too young, or your mom wouldn’t let you see it at the time.
I had older siblings. It was common to ‘sneak in’ scary movies if you were a younger sibling. Because there were five of us, my mother couldn’t keep up with filtering what we could and couldn’t watch. Parental Control was not exactly implemented at the time.
I can still remember the scene today:
The Frog Brothers bathtub scene from The Lost Boys. I literally freaked out. It was the scariest minute of my life.
Back then, vampires were hard core and garlic weaponry was how people defended themselves against fanged culprits.
Today, vampires are much softer, having relationships with humans and befriending wolves and such. I had garlic imbedded in my mind for a long time, as a last resort to defend away vampires. Up until I learned how to roast garlic, really.
That is pretty much my first memory of garlic.
The History Behind Garlic:
Garlic is in the same family as the onion. There are numerous health benefits to garlic. The vegetable even has a use for medicinal purposes.
It's been traced for thousands of years, from Asia to the Middle East. It was influential in the Roman Empire, as well as a reference in biblical writing.When I think of garlic, I envision mashed potatoes. I always roast garlic with mashed potatoes. It's so simple, and you wouldn't believe the flavor! Try my gluten-free garlic mashed potatoes once you learn how to roast garlic in the oven.
I also love roasted garlic on cheese platters. You can eat the cloves whole or spread them on crackers, combining with brie or a goat cheese.
You can even use it in pasta recipes, like how I incorporate it into this mushroom pasta recipe with garlic. And this may not be roasted but looks INCREDIBLE: vegan garlic pasta recipe by Minimalist Baker! Dana is genius.
To learn how to best roast garlic in the oven, you'll need these things:
- an oven
- a large whole garlic head
- good California olive oil
- tin foil
- small, oven safe dish
For years I would use standard recipes found online that covered the basics: Cut off the top portion of garlic, drizzle with olive oil, cover with foil and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.
Every single time, I wasn't satisfied. It was almost the way I liked it, but not quite right.
At 400 degrees, I always felt the garlic was heating too quickly. By the end, the tips of the roasted garlic pieces were caramelized and too hardened. That dark piece always got stuck in my teeth. I didn't like it. When I cooked it for too little time, I felt the garlic wasn't caramelized enough. It lacked the sweetness it deserved.
I came to the conclusion that a longer roast at a lower heat was the answer. I read that somewhere in a magazine once. With garlic though, it really works. It turns out perfect for me every single time.
So, roast your garlic for 1 hour at 350 degrees!
Tips For How Best To Roast Garlic:
- When you cut your garlic tip, cut it down ¼ an inch. Use a good, sharp knife. And don't cut in a straight line. Cut with the curve of the garlic head. A garlic is not perfectly shaped. So, don't cut a perfect line.
- I actually roast the tip also, that is cut off. I drizzle olive oil on the exposed garlic head. Then, I place the small cut piece right to the side of that, facing up. Usually, the olive oil drizzles over it as well. I don't like to waste any piece of roasted garlic.
I hope you enjoyed this post and this recipe. This really is the best way to roast garlic. And you can use it in so many gluten-free recipes! AND I hope you get in some giggles from my garlic story telling!
Now, I LOVE the new memories I've made with roasted garlic, smelling it during the holidays while cooking. So fabulous. And nostalgic.
And MUCH better than the thought of holding garlic heads, from a string, dangling under the side of my bed.... 🙂
How To Best Roast Garlic
- * Aluminum foil
- * Mini corningware dish
- * One whole head of garlic
- * California olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut whole garlic ¼ inch from top, following the shape of the head.
- Set tip aside.
- Lay down a decent sized, flat sheet of aluminum foil.
- In center of foil, place whole garlic head, cut side up.
- Next to garlic head, place cut piece faced up as well.
- Carefully drizzle olive oil on top of garlic, until all gaps seem touched and filled.
- Fold foil pieces up on all sides, and wrap garlic piece until completely covered.
- Place foil wrapped garlic in a mini CorningWare, and center it.
- *You can also use a muffin tin, baking sheet, ect. I love the small CorningWare.
- Place in oven for approximately 1 hour.
- When finished, remove garlic from oven and let cool in foil for about 10 minutes.
- Carefully unwrap, and let cool for another 10 minutes.
- Garlic will be very hot, so be careful.
- Peel hard skin off, starting from outside going in.
- You can peel skin from each clove until it falls out.
- I sometimes use a grapefruit spoon, to scoop out softened garlic.
- In a small bowl, mash warm garlic with fork until smooth or eat as is.
- *Oven times and temps may vary.