Roasted garlic is a great and cheap way to add depth and flavor to any meal. Learn a few simple ways for how to roast garlic and how to store roasted garlic. Plus, grab a number of Mediterranean recipes using roasted garlic. Ready?
If you’ve been cooking the Mediterranean way for any amount of time, I’ll bet your shopping list almost always includes these three ingredients: olive oil, lemon, and garlic. At least mine always does.
The star of today’s post is garlic. There is just no denying that garlic is one of the secret weapons of the Mediterranean diet.
For years, people of the Mediterranean, and other cultures around the world, used garlic for its health and medicinal benefits–from supporting heart health to curing the common cold. Garlic is also an essential flavor-maker in many Mediterranean recipes.
Sadly, not everyone can tolerate raw garlic. But when roasted, garlic’s chemical properties change enough so that it is easier to digest, and the flavor mellows quite a bit, turning soft; smoky; and slightly sweet.
Roasted garlic is such the tasty treat. I love to eat the toasty, caramelized cloves right out of the head! And it’s a cheap way to add tons of depth and flavor to many dishes. A couple of my favorite recipes with roasted garlic are of course, Roasted Garlic Hummus and this Grilled Shrimp with Roasted Garlic Cilantro Sauce (although, I do cheat a little in this shrimp recipe and only roast the garlic for 10 minutes or so.)
How to Roast Garlic?
There are many ways to roast garlic. Here are three:
- Pan Roasted Garlic. In a pinch, if you need to roast just a few loose garlic cloves, simply heat a pan over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic cloves (skin on) and roast for 7 to 8 minutes, turning the cloves over every 2 minutes or so. The garlic cloves should turn a nice golden brown, even charred on some parts. Remove from pan and let them cool before using. The skins should come right off.
- Oven Roasted Garlic in foil. Now, to roast just one or two heads of garlic, you can utilize the good ol’ foil method. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Remove most of papery garlic skin. Trim top of the garlic head off (about 1/4 to a 1/2 inch from the top of cloves, to expose each individual clove some). Place garlic head in a large enough piece of foil. Drizzle with a little olive oil and rub with your hands to cover the garlic. Close the foil, and place on a baking sheet or ramekin. Roast garlic in heated oven for 35-40 minutes or so. Let cool before handling.
- Oven Roasted Garlic in muffin pan without using foil. This is my favorite method to roast lots of garlic at once. It’s easy; it allows you to roast like a dozen garlic heads at once; plus, it’s a great way to avoid using foil. You basically place the prepared garlic heads each in the muffin tin. Drizzle with olive oil, then cover with an identical muffin tin and bake in heated oven. The recipe below details the steps for how to roast lots of garlic in a muffin pan.
How to store roasted garlic
If you use roasted garlic as much as I do, you probably went for the muffin pan method. Storing roasted garlic is fairly easy. And there are a couple of ways to do it:
- Freeze roasted garlic. Once the roasted garlic has cooled, simply peel off the papery skins. Arrange the garlic cloves on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, you can transfer cloves to a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze. You can take out as many cloves as you need at a time. Leave at room temperature briefly to thaw before using.
- Store Roasted Garlic in Fridge with Olive Oil. If you will be using your roasted garlic within 2 weeks and no longer, you can use this storing method. Place cooled, peeled roasted garlic cloves in a clean canning jar. Add good extra virgin olive oil to completely cover and submerge the garlic. Cover tightly with lid and store in your fridge for up to 2 weeks (no longer.) Why add oil? Olive oil is a natural preservative. It prevents the garlic from spoiling by isolating it from air. Think of it as a way to seal the roasted garlic. This way, it delays oxidation, deterioration or molding. IMPORTANT: DO NOT leave garlic in olive oil at room temperature, this provides perfect conditions for producing botulism toxin (read more in this PDF).
How to roast garlic! This roasted garlic recipe is the perfect way to roast lots of garlic and without using foil. You’ll get perfectly soft, smoky, caramelized garlic cloves that you can use immediately or store to use later!
- 12 heads of garlic (garlic bulbs)
- Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Prepare the garlic heads for roasting. Peel the outer papery skins, but leave cloves intact. Slice the tops of the garlic heads off (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch from top), leaving the cloves exposed. Make sure all of the cloves have some portion exposed so that they properly roast.
- Place each garlic head (exposed garlic surface up) in muffin pan. Drizzle about 2 tsp over each head of garlic, and using your hand, massage oil all over the exposed garlic surface.
- Cover muffin pan with another muffin pan that is identical in size. Roast in heated oven for 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool before handling.
- When cool enough, push garlic cloves out of their casings and use or store for later. See notes for storage options.
- How to store garlic. As mentioned above you can freeze roasted garlic (first freeze the cloves on sheet pan, then transfer to container and freeze.) You can thaw roasted garlic out for a few minutes at room temperature before using. Or, you can store roasted garlic in the fridge in a clean canning jar. Top the jar with olive oil so that the garlic is submerged. Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Do NOT leave garlic and olive oil jar out at room temperature, this provides perfect conditions for producing botulism toxin.
- Recommended for this recipe: Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives) SAVE! Try our Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil Bundle!
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