Garlic tastes so good in so many foods, and it’s an essential ingredient in almost every culture. It is often minced and sautéed to flavor a sauce or the cooking oil before adding other ingredients or meats. Raw garlic can be harsh and sulfury, strong enough to ward off vampires. But it gets mellow, nutty, and sweet when cooked. But not too mellow. It still retains its unique character. One of the best ways to mellow garlic is to roast it with some olive oil. Roasted garlic makes a great spread on bread, toast, or crackers. I also use it in mashed potatoes, salad dressings, soups, and sauces. It’s easy.
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page
- Fire up. Set up your grill for 2-zone or indirect cooking and preheat to medium.
- Prep. With a sharp knife, cut off the pointy end of each garlic head about 1/2" (13mm) below the top of the head. This should be deep enough to expose the flesh of most of the cloves within. If not, cut a little further down. Separate the cloves slightly so the head is loose and there is a bit of space between cloves.
- Tear off a square of aluminum foil, and sit the head on the foil. Wrap the lower half of the head in foil so it will act like a heat shield during re-entry and a base for it to stand up on. Drip some olive oil over the bare garlic cloves and let a little run down between the cloves. If you like, sprinkle on a little salt and pepper.
- Roast. Place the whole shootin' match on the grill in the indirect heat zone. After about 30 minutes stick a pointy knife into one of the center cloves. If it meets resistance, cook another 15 to 30 minutes. If it slides in like buttah, it is done.
- Squeeze. You can squeeze the whole head to smush out the cloves of roasted garlic, then spread the garlic on bread, or spread it on bread and grill it. Or pop the cloves out of the paper, put them in a plastic bag in the fridge for a week, or even freeze them.
- Take large cloves, chop off the tips and stem ends of the cloves. Place the flat edge of a chef's knife on each clove and press down until they are crushed, then peel off the skin. Cover the bottom of a frying pan with about 1/4" olive oil. It doesn't have to be really expensive extra virgin. Warm the oil over medium heat and add the cloves. There should be tiny bubbles coming from the cloves. If not, turn up the heat a skosh. Let them simmer until the edges turn golden, but not brown. Remove them with a slotted spoon. Let the oil cool and save it in the fridge. It is now garlic infused and great for salad dressings or sautéing.
In a big hurry?
- Cut off the garlic's top, soak it under water for about 3 minutes, wrap in plastic wrap, poke a few holes in the wrap so the steam will escape, and microwave on high for about a minute.