How to make roasted garlic

As I said in my last post (deconstructed pesto pasta), there’s not a single vegetable that’s not improved by roasting. Okay, so someone pointed out that perhaps cucumber wouldn’t roast all that well, but that’s technically a fruit so I’m going to ignore that and pretend that I’m still right. Let’s not prove me wrong again, I like to pretend I’m right.

Aaanyway, roasted garlic is one of those things that pretty much makes any recipe sound amazing. Grilled cheese sandwich – boring. Grilled cheese sandwich with roasted garlic – oh yes. Same goes with just about any other recipe. So if you’ve not yet hopped on the roasted garlic train, come and join us. It’s smelly but delicious here. It also couldn’t be simpler (in fact I feel a little silly even posting this, but since I once saw a blog post about how to boil water* – no lie – I think I’ll do it anyway).

Here’s how to make roasted garlic:

1. Heat your oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
2. Cut the top off a few bulbs of garlic – that means the entire, unpeeled bulb. If you really want to, you can even just do a few (unpeeled) cloves, but I find it more efficient to roast garlic in bulk and then you’ve always got a bit ready.
3. Place the bulbs cut-side up in a baking tray, and drizzle lightly with oil. I also tend to add a small amount of salt and pepper to the top, but I don’t think it really makes much difference. I just like to feel that I’m doing something.
4. Roast for around 25 minutes, until the bulb is very soft when you squeeze it.
5. Set aside until cool enough to handle, and then gently squeeze each clove out of its skin – they should pop out very easily. You’ll most likely get very messy, so give in and enjoy it. You can either leave the cloves whole, or mash them up with a fork for spreading.
6. Either use immediately, or store in the fridge in a sealed container. I never usually have the willpower to avoid using it all up within a week, but it might keep a little longer.

And that’s it! Only about five minutes of actual effort, and you’ve got yourself a good batch of roasted garlic. If you still need convincing, come back soon because I’ll be posting a recipe using roasted garlic that might just sway you.

* yep it pretty much just said ‘put water in a pan on the hob and wait for it to boil’. Who knew!