Roasted Garlic: Your Secret Kitchen Weapon

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Have you ever wondered what’s in a dish that makes it so unique and memorable, what that special ingredient is that takes your food to the next level? Roasted garlic is one of those ingredients. It adds a subtle yet remarkable flavor to anything you put it in. With its caramelized, nutty flavor and its smooth, creamy consistency, roasted garlic can transform your ordinary dishes into culinary masterpieces.

Add roasted garlic to your list of pantry staples. It is simple to make at home, and it keeps well in the refrigerator. It is surprising how versatile roasted garlic can be. You can put it in anything from mashed potatoes to meat to cake, and it’s so good, you’d be happy slathering it on some bread as a spread or popping a clove or two into your mouth as they are. Keep some on hand at all times, and experiment to discover all the ways it can
make your life more delicious.

Roasting garlic brings out its caramelly, nutty flavor that adds some serious oomph to all sorts of dishes. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F, set a rack in the middle position.
  2. Peel most of the loose paper off three or four heads of garlic, leaving enough to hold the head together.
  3. Trim about 1/4 inch off the top of the head of garlic to expose the cloves.
  4. Drizzle 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the top of the garlic, letting it sink down into the cloves.
  5. Wrap the garlic in aluminum foil.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, check the garlic. It is done roasting when the center cloves are completely soft when pierced. You can continue roasting the garlic once it’s soft until it’s golden brown with richer caramelization. Check it every 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Let it cool a bit before squeezing the cloves out of their paper from the bottom. Use your roasted garlic right away, or store the separated cloves in an air tight glass jar. Keep them in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze them for up to 3 months.

Now that you know how to roast garlic, here are just a few ideas on how to use it:

Burgers: Mix roasted garlic into your meat for juicy, flavorful burgers. You will be a backyard barbecue hero.

Garlic bread: Spread some butter and creamy roasted garlic on bread, sprinkle with Italian herbs and sea salt, and bake until crusty. This is no Texas Toast.

Garlic mashed potatoes: Beat in a little cream, butter, and roasted garlic for an unreal food experience.

German potato salad: Add some depth to this tangy, bold dish for a simple but delicious head-turner.

Garlic butter: Blend a few cloves of roasted garlic and any herbs you like into softened butter. Use it as a spread, melt it over your steak, or cook with it in your savory recipes.

Garlic vinaigrette: Add some roasted garlic to your favorite salad dressing, or make your own garlic vinaigrette for a flavorful salad that won’t leave you feeling shafted at dinner.

Garlic corn on the cob: Amp up this classic summer side by spreading on some roasted garlic and

Garlic string beans: Liven up your farm fresh green beans with some roasted garlic and caramelized shallots.

Garlic grilled cheese: Butter your bread for grilling with roasted garlic butter for a rich, caramelly, toasty crunch. Heck, spread some plain roasted garlic on the inside of your bread if you’re up for some serious gooey, garlicky goodness.

Roasted garlic aioli: Roasted garlic gives this condiment a mellow but intense garlic flavor. It’s the perfect spread for burgers, wraps, and sandwiches, a great dip for roasted potatoes and artichokes, or drizzled over vegetables and fish.

Roasted garlic pesto: Who knew pesto could get any better? Use roasted garlic for an unforgettable flavor explosion.

Roasted garlic hummus: Healthy and hearty, roasted garlic hummus makes the perfect dip for veggies and chips and a great spread for sandwiches.

Roasted garlic guac: Yeah, you heard me. Roasted garlic guacamole. What are you waiting for?

Roasted garlic infused olive oil: An easy way to add amazing flavor to any dish! Use it for sautéing, over mozzarella, in salads–go nuts!

Mix into olive oil: Mash some roasted garlic cloves into a good quality olive oil for rustic yet elegant crusty bread dip

Eat it as is: Roasted garlic is so delicious, don’t be surprised if you want to spread it over whatever you’re eating or pop some cloves into your mouth just as they are. Slightly chewy, creamy, and rich, roasted garlic is a little bulb of heaven.

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