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Italians love their garlic!  Well, actually so do the Greeks, the Spanish, the Thai and well… lots of cultures!

Garlic is such a versatile herb which can be used in a variety of ways in a variety of recipes.  It can be chopped, pureed, diced, sliced, smashed and… roasted.

This post will focus on roasted garlic – what is it exactly and how do you make it?

I was inspired to talk about this recipe the other week when I was at work speaking with a friend about what she was going to make for dinner. She mentioned garlic and I mentioned how I love roasted garlic.

To my surprise she asked, “What is that?”   It didn’t even dawn on me that others don’t know what this is… I tend to always assume everyone knows more than I do!  So I said, “You just gave me a great idea for a blog post!”

I never started roasting garlic until about 5 or 6 years ago when I started my quest for simple Italian cooking.  It is super easy, healthy, and a great accompaniment to many dishes.

What is Roasted Garlic?

Roasted garlic is whole garlic cloves or bulbs that are roasted in an oven at a fairly high temperature.   The below images are the difference between a garlic “clove” vs. a “bulb”.  A bulb is what you see in the stores – a group of cloves bound together by the outer white papery skin.

Did you know you can take 1 single clove, bury it in the ground with the pointy end up, and it will grow into a bulb?  I have done this one year and it worked out except I forgot where I buried the cloves and I couldn’t easily differentiate between the tall weeds and the garlic stems.

How to Roast Garlic

Although others I’m sure have their preferences, I like mine as simplistic and mess free as possible. Here’s how:

  1. Take a whole bulb and slice off the top to expose most of the raw garlic heads
  2. If you can, try to create a little space between some of cloves by moving them around – but not to where it falls apart
  3. Place on top of a piece of parchment paper large enough to wrap it up
  4. Drizzle olive oil on the bulb trying to get the oil to drip into the cloves which you’ve wiggled apart
  5. Now wrap it up with the parchment and twist the top so it stays shut
  6. In an oven proof dish, bake for 45 minutes at 375F
  7. When finished, open the bulbs when slightly cooled and using a knife and fork (or hands), remove the garlic from it’s outer skin (don’t eat the skin)
  8. Eat and enjoy!

COOKING TIPS:

  • Garlic is potent and it will be noticeable.  If you have family that don’t like cooking smells (even if good ones), keep a window open or make sure to air it out when done.
  • I always wish I made more garlic.  It’s easy to think, “I won’t eat a whole bulb!”  but amazingly, when garlic is cooked like this, it is not filling and you end up wanting more.
  • Italian recipes that this side dish goes well with are meat recipes and pasta dishes
  • Accompany with a salad, and include a bunch of parsley on the side b/c parsley is a great at removing any garlic smells that might linger
  • If you do not have parchment paper, you can use foil
  • By using a wrapper, like parchment paper – it traps the steam and the cloves do not dry out.

Let me know how you roast your garlic!

Thanks for reading,

 

Liz

SimpleItalianCooking.com