Garlic is one of the most versatile cooking spices, able to be used in most cuisines and complementing various dishes and other spices well. While garlic can be purchased in jars already minced or in powder or salted versions dried and ready to sprinkle into and on foods, the best garlic comes from fresh garlic that has been pressed at home and then properly roasted either with a dish or separate to use on a dish.
Depending on the type of dish and how much garlic is required, how to roast garlic can vary. This article looks at some easy but creative ways to roast garlic, both with and without an oven.
Oven or Pan Roasted Garlic
From the grocery store, it’s best to buy fresh garlic. Garlic cloves are not very expensive, and they can be stored in a pantry or refrigerator unpeeled or processed for months at a time, provided they stay cool and dry. Garlic can be peeled, minced, pressed, roasted, pureed or any combination of ways to prepare it for use, but roasting garlic, regardless of how it is processed, brings out the flavor and aroma of the garlic oils.
Using a toaster oven, convection oven or conventional oven is likely the easiest and most efficient way to bring out the spicy sweetness of a garlic clove when roasting.
If, however, an oven isn’t available, garlic can be roasted on a stove top or in a pan, or even in a wok.
Foil Garlic Roast
Peel a garlic clove and then slice into pieces. Place the pieces of garlic inside a pocket of foil, that is, shape the foil into a bowl-like or pouch-like shape and place the garlic in the center. Using a cooking oil of choice (extra virgin olive oil is recommended, but other oils will work), lightly drizzle the garlic pieces.
Optionally, sprinkle with sea salt to taste, or add some paprika or other spices that are complementary to the dish and the garlic flavor. Place the foil into the center of an oven at 350 degrees, and let roast until the top of the garlic begins to brown and the oil begins to sizzle, approximately 30-45 minutes, depending on ovens and size of garlic cloves. Shake the foil packet regularly to avoid burning.
Garlic Roasting with Cuisine
When cooking whole roasting chickens, Cornish game hens, or other types of whole poultry dishes, the cavity of the birds can be stuffed with an oil infused garlic clove so the aroma permeates and roasts through the bird while cooking. For other dishes, placing the previously mentioned garlic foil packet in the center of the roasting pan, along with an ice cube, will help steam and then roast the garlic, causing the flavor and aroma to permeate throughout the dish in the oven.
When the garlic is finished roasting and the dish is complete, the cooled roasted garlic can be diced, minced or pressed and then sprinkled over the dish.
Roasted Garlic Recipes
Once roasted, garlic can then be used in any favorite recipes or even tossed with some sautéed onions and butter and served as a side dish for those who like to eat garlic alone. Also, once garlic is roasted, it can be minced, diced, pureed, pressed or chopped and then stored to use in the future or used immediately in a dish.
Once garlic has been roasted, it should be stored in the refrigerator, where it can generally be kept for up to a month before the flavor begins to go bad.