kitchen basics: roasting garlic

6 December, 2009 at 11:39 pm Leave a comment

I love roasted garlic, but I am also prone to not planning ahead enough to roast a head of garlic the traditional way, in the oven.  Last week I wanted to make a pizza bianca with a roasted olive oil base, but was too lazy and in a hurry to roast it properly (also, sometimes you just don’t have a whole head of garlic left to spare for roasting!), so I did some research on alternative methods, and settled on the following recipe as my best bet for a quick roast with relatively complex flavor. Other popular methods follow–let me know if you have a favorite way of doing it!

Roasting Garlic on the Stove

1 small puddle olive oil

8-10 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed a bit

Heat oil in a small pan over low heat, then add cloves and slowly cook until caramel colored and roasty smelling, about 10 minutes.  Then remove cloves from oil and drain on a paper towel before using.

Dry-roasted garlic on the stove

I have also had good experiences dry-roasting cloves of garlic with the skins still on in a small pan on the stove.  You can up the heat to medium for this technique and just gently cook it until the skins turn brown. This is a quick method, but will result in a less complex flavor in the garlic.

Oven Roasted Garlic

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and slice the top off of a head of garlic, exposing the tops of all the cloves.  Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper if you like, and wrap in foil, then bake for about a half hour, until the cloves are all soft.  You can also skip the foil, and add about a 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of a small pan just large enough to hold the garlic, if you prefer.

Roasting Garlic in the Microwave

Yes, apparently this can be done–I have yet to test it, but all you do is slice the top of a head of garlic, drizzle with oil and salt and pepper, put it in a small dish with a couple tablespoons of water, cover it with plastic wrap, and microwave on medium for 7-8 minutes.  Let me know if you have had success with this method!

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