As lots of you probably already know, roasted garlic has a much different flavor than sautéed garlic. The roasting process really brings out the nuttiness and depth of the garlic, and provides a softer texture too. It’s also a lot easier to not burn it, like you can sautéing it minced in a pan (and nobody wants that bitter overcooked garlic flavor).
So the typical method of roasting garlic is something like: slice off the top of a head of garlic, drizzle with oil, wrap in foil and bake in the oven for somewhere between 45 to 90 minutes. Then you have to wait another 30 minutes for the garlic to cool before you can handle it, and when you squeeze out the garlic you lose a lot that gets stuck in the cloves’ skins.
While this long method does draw out a lot of flavor and is great for things like hummus and soups where you can blend the garlic right in, not all of us have the time or need for an entire head of garlic, and here the skins pop off very easily so there’s less waste.
This hack for “roasted” garlic takes only about 15 minutes and will give you beautiful soft roasted garlic that you can use in virtually any recipe.
I came upon this recipe through reading about Rick Bayless, but apparently this has been done for quite some time in Mexico (you can read more about that and where I learned this on Epicurious).
After shelled, they are so soft and scrumptious. I had to peel these very carefully so I wouldn’t smash them for the photos, but normally I just smash away as I’m peeling and you can feel free to do so too.
“Roasted” Garlic Hack
- Garlic Cloves (Unpeeled)
- Break the garlic cloves off of the head of garlic (however many you need for the recipe you are making). Leave the skins on, but if there’s any long tails of skin you can cut them off so they don’t burn on the pan.
- Put garlic in saucepan over med/med-high heat. For metal pans, do medium heat since they heat up faster, and for heavier pans (like the one pictured above) do med-high heat. You don’t want them to brown too fast without having cooked through, so if in doubt start on lower heat.
- Check after 2-3 minutes and if you see brown spots forming on the bottom sides, flip the cloves over to another side. Keep checking and flipping until all sides are browned.
- Let cool about 3 minutes until you can handle the cloves without getting burned (you can pop them in the fridge to reduce this time too).
- Slide the clove out of the wrappers. The easiest way is to rest the clove in your hand, and pinch and twist/pull the tail of the garlic clove wrapper off. It should come out pretty easily, or if not then you may need to throw it back in the pan.
Then use as desired by chopping, mincing, or blending into whatever recipe you wish!
And to end this post, I would like to share one of my Mother & I’s favorite quotes:
“Without garlic, I simply would not care to live.”
While it may be a little dramatic, I can empathize here because I do believe that garlic is quite amazing, and definitely worth living for.