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:
- Take a whole bulb and slice off the top to expose most of the raw garlic heads
- If you can, try to create a little space between some of cloves by moving them around – but not to where it falls apart
- Place on top of a piece of parchment paper large enough to wrap it up
- Drizzle olive oil on the bulb trying to get the oil to drip into the cloves which you’ve wiggled apart
- Now wrap it up with the parchment and twist the top so it stays shut
- In an oven proof dish, bake for 45 minutes at 375F
- 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)
- Eat and enjoy!
- 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,