It’s 6:30 am on a Saturday, and the activity I have chosen to do is to roast garlic.
Am I normal?
Please don’t answer that. I stand by my decision with absolutely no regrets, because I now have a whole container of roasted garlic paste to use this week in homemade lemon and roasted garlic hummus, for a quick and easy garlic bread on the side of baked gnocchi, and in a tortellini salad with a roasted garlic and lemon dressing. BOOM. I’ve planned for three quick and easy things to make by putting a little bit of time into roasting garlic this morning! With such a busy schedule during the week, cooking time-consuming things on the weekend is really the biggest reason why I am able to cook delicious meals during the week after our ten-eleven hour work days. Otherwise, we would be getting quite a bit more take-out.
And even though I’ve just described this as “time-consuming,” please don’t be put off. Roasting garlic is one of the easiest things to do ever- it just takes a little time to roast in the oven.
You only need two ingredients: some heads of garlic, and olive oil.
Begin by peeling off the outer skin of a whole garlic head to reveal the cloves. Chop off the tops of the cloves to expose the garlic by cutting at an angle (add the tops you chopped off to scrap vegetables in your freezer for homemade vegetable stock!).
Place the head in aluminum foil and drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Bunch the foil at the top to close and place in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool, and use a fork to remove the cloves from the casing. They should come out very easily, but if you need to give them a boost you can squeeze them from the bottom.
If you LOVE garlic, you can eat these cloves straight up at this point. If you want to make a paste, add the cloves to a bowl and the olive oil that has been left behind in the foil- this oil is full of garlic flavor- and mash with a fork.
Done! Wasn’t that easy?
Add this to pasta, salsa, spread it on toast… I usually use roasted garlic paste in place of raw garlic (raw garlic tends to not sit well with me). For instance, my homemade ranch dressing calls for raw garlic, and this can be easily substituted to create a less intense, more roasted garlic flavor.
Roasted Garlic Paste
- Whole garlic heads as many as you want
- 1 tablespoon olive oil per head
- Salt to taste (optional)
- Remove the outer skin from the garlic heads, keeping the entire thing intact.
- Slice off the tops of the cloves to expose the garlic by cutting at an angle.
- Place the heads of garlic on pieces of aluminum foil and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil each.
- Bunch the foil together at the top to close it up
- Place in a 400 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool; remove roasted garlic cloves with a fork and add to a bowl.
- Mash with a fork until it forms a paste; add the olive oil from the foil packets that has collected on the bottom.
- Season with salt, if desired.