Learn my trick to roast garlic without foil.
Do you know those huge plastic jars at the grocery store filled with minced garlic? I love them. I hate chopping garlic and it is so easy to just add a couple of teaspoons of already chopped garlic to a recipe.
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But Tom hates them. He swears he can taste the difference between recipes that use jarred vs fresh garlic. I needed a solution to keep both of us happy. One that would make cooking with fresh garlic more convenient. My solution?
Learning how to roast garlic in big batches and then freezing it in easy-to-use portions. I searched for the best method of roasting whole heads of garlic but they all wrapped each head of garlic in a piece of foil. We use a lot of garlic and I’m a girl on a budget. I can’t be wasting that much foil.
Why should you roast garlic?
Roasting garlic does take a little bit of time and effort. But the results are definitely worth it.
When raw garlic is cut the cells are damaged causing it to convert sulfur-containing proteins into molecules that have a strong smell and sharp flavor. These molecules are called allicin, which, like the capsaicin found in chiles triggers the heat sensors on your tongue.
- When roasted the sugars in garlic concentrate. Its flavor mellows from spicy, sharp and pungent to buttery, nutty, and sweet.
- Roasted garlic adds a sweetness and depth to dishes such as soups, mashes, dressings, marinades, and sauces.
- Roasted garlic is easy to preserve.
How to roast garlic without foil
Cut approximately a 1/2 inch off the top of each head of garlic. Peel as much of the papery skin off as you can. Make sure to expose the top of each clove of garlic.
Place one head of garlic in each section of a muffin pan. Drizzle olive oil over each head of garlic and rub it in making sure the garlic is well coated.
Place a second inverted muffin pan on top. Bake in a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven for 40 – 45 minutes.
Roasted garlic is done when the tops are nicely caramelized and the tip of a knife is easily inserted into an inner clove.
How to buy and store fresh garlic
- Garlic heads should be firm and plump.
- Avoid garlic heads that are soft and spongy or heads with green shoots growing out of them.
- Store garlic at room temperature in a dry, dark place.
How to use roasted garlic
- One of the simplest ways to use roasted garlic is to puree it with a little bit of olive oil turning it into a creamy buttery paste. Garlic puree makes a delicious dip for crackers and vegetables. It can also be used as a spread on a crusty piece of bread.
- Add it to mashed potatoes, cauliflower, rutabagas, or turnips. Pretty much any vegetable that you can mash will benefit from the addition of roasted garlic.
- Add it to whipped butter to make a delicious spread.
- Add it to soups and stews.
How to store roasted garlic
- Whole heads of roasted garlic can be stored in the refrigerator, in an air-tight container for 3-4 days.
- Garlic cloves submerged in olive oil in a sealed jar will keep in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
- My favorite way to store garlic is to make a paste by mashing the garlic with a little olive oil and then freezing it in ready to use portions in an ice cube tray.
- Always refrigerate or freeze roasted garlic.
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