Give your dishes an incredible chef-inspired depth of flavor by adding herbed roasted garlic cloves. Buttery, sweet, melt-in-your-mouth garlic deliciousness that is perfect for dips, sauces, meats, pizza and as a spread. Plus it’s SUPER EASY!
Garlic is one of those must-have pantry items that every kitchen needs to have. No, I’m not talking about those jars of pre-cut garlic in oil or water but rather I’m talking about those big ol’ heads of fresh garlic. Almost every store carries it either in a bag, package or loose in a bin. And unless you’re allergic, you really need these.
Okay, I know some wise guy may comment with “well you can’t have garlic if you’re a vampire”. We all know that myth, was busted when Twilight came out and we all saw that garlic doesn’t affect vampires…and apparently, they sparkle like a 1978 Disco Queen.
Why use roasted garlic?
Probably the most popular uses of garlic are in tomato sauce. Every recipe will tell you to saute the garlic before adding your tomatoes but do you know why? Raw garlic is rather sharp with a very assertive taste. It’s almost offputting. But, by sauteeing it, you’re mellowing out that bitey flavor and making it more palatable. It then adds a beautiful flavor to the recipe. You get all the garlic flavor without any of that offputting bite.
BUT… by roasting your garlic, you’re allowing it to develop an incredible depth of richness and flavor, not to mention the change in texture. Roasted garlic becomes unctuous with a buttery feel. It’s so soft and actually becomes sweet. When it’s done can pop a clove or two on toast and spread it out. You get all that amazing flavor of garlic but more mellow.
How to oven roast garlic
This recipe requires 4 ingredients, some heavy-duty tin foil, and a shallow baking dish. There’s nothing fancy about it. Heck, you don’t even peel it either!
- Take each head (or bulb) and turn it on its side.
- Using a sharp kitchen knife, cut off the top of the bulb. You want to expose just the top of the cloves.
- Place the cut bulbs in the foil. drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the top of each bulb, add some red pepper flakes, a few sprigs of fresh thyme and wrap it up.
- Roast in the oven and just let the oven do its magic.
As the garlic is roasting, your kitchen will smell AMAZING! A sweet aroma of warm garlic will flow through the air and will start to make you hungry so you best think about how you want to use this up.
Now if you’re a purist you can totally omit the chili flakes and thyme and go with straight olive oil when roasting it but I found this small addition of herbs and really steps up the flavor profile. For me, this is INCREDIBLE on both a white and red pizza!
How to use roasted garlic
Honestly, you can use it in pretty much any savory dish whether it’s in say a sour cream herb dip, as a spread on a bagel or toast (FYI this ROCKS with smashed avocado toast!), on top of pizza, in sauces, in hummus or in a cheesy bread! Add it to your stuffing or roasted chicken to give it an incredible depth of flavor!
It’s even incredible in a potato soup!
The next time you make a charcuterie board, set up a small bowl of roasted garlic and watch folks devour this on a cracker or with meat & cheese.
How to store roasted garlic
You have 2 options really as I’m not counting the whole using it as soon as it’s done in the oven notion.
Storing your roasted garlic in the fridge
- Once the garlic is roasted, place the peeled cloves in a jar with olive oil. You must completely submerge and cover the cloves. The olive oil acts as a barrier and encapsulates the garlic acting as a barrier against air. Air will spoil the cloves, cause it to break down and discolor. You worked hard (well okay not really) on roasting your cloves, you should protect them.
- This method is ONLY recommended if you are going to use up the cloves within 2 weeks. Any longer and you really need to freeze them.
- Once used up, I just re-use the oil for my next roasted batch.
- *side note, the oil itself is amazing as it has a great roasted garlic flavor.
Freezing roasted garlic
- Once the cloves are cooled, remove the skins. Place them on a parchment-lined baking pan. Place the pan, uncovered, in the freezer for an hour (this is called flash-freezing). Once frozen, transfer to a freezer container/bag and store in the freezer for up to 12 months.
- The oil that remains, you can strain it through a fine-mesh strainer and use that as now you have garlic-infused oil!
- 5 large garlic heads (or use as many as you wish)
- Extra virgin olive oil (about 5 Tbl)
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Take each head (or bulb) and turn it on its side. Using a sharp kitchen knife, cut off the top of the bulb. You want to expose just the top of the cloves.
- Place the cut bulbs in the tinfoil, cut side up sitting in a shallow baking dish. Drizzle each bulb with 1 Tbl of extra virgin olive oil over the top of the cut cloves. Sprinkle on the red pepper flakes, add in the sprigs of fresh thyme and wrap it up.
- Roast for 30-45 minutes, checking every 5 minutes (after the 30-minute mark). The cloves should pierce easily with a sharp knife.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool to touch and use immediately or see the notes and post about storing the cloves.
Storing your roasted garlic
- Read above how to store it in the fridge as well as the freezer.