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July 26, 2005 5:12 AM   Subscribe

How do I make excellent roasted garlic?

In the hazy past, I frequented a restaurant that would serve a whole head of roasted garlic. about 1/4th of the top (or bottom?) was cut off, so you could stick your knife directly into each 'cell' and pull out a clove of perfectly roasted garlic, translucent and spreadable like butter. I've experimented with roasting garlic but it never comes out this good.

Is it better to cut off the 'tip' or the 'stem' end? How long and how hot in the oven? Any tips for making it with individual cloves instead of the whole head?

[The restaurant, by the way, was in Boston, served it with a sprig of rosemary, and I totally forget what it was called.]
posted by sohcahtoa to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Cut off enough of the tip so every clove is visible, and you can imagine getting a knife in each hole. Put in a roasting pan. Pour olive oil over the top.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:14 AM on July 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

I foud a ceramic garlic clove roaster in a local kitchen/household shop - never seen one before, and never heard of roast garlic either (my bad...) - but it looked cool; it was just like a huge garlic clove!

Perhaps one of these would make it a bit easier than just roasting it on a tray? Would stop it drying out, anyway...
posted by Chunder at 5:18 AM on July 26, 2005

What is do is chop the top off of the garlic, then I pour a bit of olive oil ... try to get each clove.

Then I wrap it in tin foil, toss it in the oven for ~30-45 minutes.

roasted goodness!
posted by k8t at 5:41 AM on July 26, 2005

Cut off the top of the garlic and remove some of the extraneous garlic paper from the outside. Put it on a square of tin foil and pour olive oil over it. Add some dried basil/parsley if you like. Wrap the tin foil up around it and cook it in the oven [toaster oven is okay] at 350-400 degrees for 30 minutes. Unwrap the tin foil and put it back in for another 5-10 minutes.
posted by jessamyn at 5:42 AM on July 26, 2005

Chop off about 1/4 of the "tip" end (the pointy part), drizzle with olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil, and roast in 350 degree (F) oven for 45 minutes (or more, if the bulb is really big).

Whenever I roast veggies, I toss in some individual garlic cloves, so you could adapt that if you want to do just a few. Pull off the cloves you want, put on a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil, and roast (when I do veggies, I usually do 400 degrees and about 30 minutes).

But, if your concern is that you don't want to consume a whole head of garlic, you can still make the whole bulb, then squeeze out and mash up the cloves you don't use. In an airtight container in the fridge, this should last up to a month. Then you'd have that great flavor whenever you want it--in mashed potatoes, to rub over roasted chicken or other meats...yum!
posted by CiaoMela at 5:52 AM on July 26, 2005

I put mine in a small tin, literally covered with oil - like, boiling in oil, for 40 mins or so. They come out soft and golden, and you've got garlic oil for cooking with!
posted by cogat at 6:06 AM on July 26, 2005

If you use the remainder of the oil as garlic oil, be aware that it's a favorite home of Clostridium botulinum, which can kill you. There are some tips on avoiding a tasty, tasty death here.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:19 AM on July 26, 2005

What jessamyn said, but we roast it for 90 minutes or so.
posted by fixedgear at 6:20 AM on July 26, 2005

There are excellent recipes for this in Chez Panisse Vegetables and Chez Panisse Menu.

From memory, what she has you do is:

1. Cut off the stem end of the garlic head so that all the cloves are visible, removing extraneous skin.

2. Arrange in a glass baking dish in such a way that the garlic doesn't move around too much.

3. Put about a tablespoon of olive oil on each garlic head, then a pat of butter.

4. Sprinkle rosemary on each garlic head--and put a few sticks of fresh rosemary in the baking dish.

5. Cover with foil; bake at 275 for an hour.

6. After an hour, uncover, and baste the garlic with the accumulated olive oil every ten minutes for forty minutes.

7. In a separate dish, combine goat cheese and heavy cream; whip into a spreadable cheese.

8. Serve with crusty white peasant bread.

We do this for company all the time, and the presentation--golden head of garlic, toasty crunchy bread, white cheese, sprig of rosemary--is wonderful.
posted by josh at 6:35 AM on July 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

Just as a side note, I think the restaurant you're referring to is called Vinny Testa's (now known as Vinny T's of Boston).
posted by thewittyname at 6:48 AM on July 26, 2005

Oh yeah, it was Vinny Testa's. My wife was insisting it was the Border Cafe. Why the name change?
posted by sohcahtoa at 6:50 AM on July 26, 2005

I often roast garlic when I roast other veggies like potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions (sooo good), brussell sprouts, etc.

Chunk up the potatoes, quarter the onions, trim brussell sprouts. Slice the top off the garlic. I don't worry about every clove. Pour good quality olive oil into garlic head, and douse the veggies so everything is coated. Seasoned salt, rosemary, or herbs of choice on veggies. When I roast sprouts, I add diced pancetta, prosciutto or bacon. Probably good w/ potatoes too, come to think of it. 350 oven. Turn the veggies every 15 minutes. 45 minutes is enough, but when I forgot and let it roast for longer, it was very tasty. Your house will smell divine.
posted by theora55 at 7:15 AM on July 26, 2005 [2 favorites]

Roasting the whole head makes for a nice look in presentation but it's not necessary if you really just want the yummy garlic paste. I toss the peeled cloves in tinfoil and some drizzled olive oil (although the girlfriend and I have used a generous spritz of 0 calorie cooking spray as well and it's acceptable) and baked it in a toaster oven till the consistancy was what I desired.

If you're as big a garlic nut as I am I encourage you to use it in mashed potatos. Tis wonderful.
posted by phearlez at 9:01 AM on July 26, 2005

I use a garlic roaster, which has always given me good results.
posted by essexjan at 9:51 AM on July 26, 2005

Along the lines of phearlez, I wrap whole, uncut heads in aluminum foil with a dash of olive oil and bake at 400 for 40 minutes. Then using my fingers (ouch!) or some tongs, I squeeze the delicious garlic paste out.
posted by mmascolino at 10:44 AM on July 26, 2005

If you use the remainder of the oil as garlic oil, be aware that it's a favorite home of Clostridium botulinum, which can kill you. There are some tips on avoiding a tasty, tasty death here.

In that link they only mention the combination of raw garlic and oil; what about cooked garlic/oil? I've seen recipes for "Garlic Confit" that are similar to cogat's method.
posted by rorycberger at 6:09 PM on July 26, 2005

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