I’m a big fan of freezing things in portion sized balls for quick access and no waste, like when I have too many zucchini so I grate and freeze them, or balls of cookie dough for a quick, fresh-baked cookie fix… or when I roast 3 lbs of garlic. It has a shelf life of only 5 days in the fridge and there is no way I’m going to use all of that all at once!
But use it I will. Roasted Garlic has all the great flavor without the sharp edge of raw garlic and once made, you can use it to quickly flavour butter for dinner, add it to mashed potatoes, whip it into your mayonnaise or blend it with chickpeas for a quick humus. It also goes great in a dip, if you’re like me and always making dips for those late night chip snacks.
Once made, (and it’s quick and easy) you can use a cookie scoop to portion it out, freeze it and bag it. Think of how gourmet you’ll feel when your friends come over? Or how your husband and kids will look at you when you give them roast garlic mashed potatoes with garlic butter for their corn on the cob – and unlike raw garlic, this won’t give you defence-barrier breath, so you won’t have to spend the rest of the evening at arm’s length.
Besides, garlic is good for you! It’s my #1 go-to when it comes to needing a health boost; It fights bacteria, boosts your immune system and my great-grandmother swore it lowered her cholesterol. She cut up and swallowed one clove a day as though it were a pill, and lived to a ripe old age so who knows? I’ve followed in her footsteps popping cloves of garlic like pills each winter, and it hasn’t killed me yet – just makes me crave pizza 😉
Roast Garlic – Procedure
- Take about 3 lbs of garlic and keeping the bulb cut off the top of the head, so a little less than 1/3 down. Lay flat in a 9×13 pan, open side facing up.
- Drizzle some olive oil onto the top of the garlic, about a tablespoon per bulb. The oil will drip into the garlic bulb and coat the individual cloves.
- Lay all your garlic side by side until you run out of room, then stack some on top. As long as each bulb has its oil and is facing open side up, it will be fine.
- Sprinkle some salt over the whole thing. You can add more later if you want.
- Cover with foil and bake at 425F for approx. 40-45 minutes. You want to be able to push a toothpick really easily through a clove.
Remove it from the oven and let it cool with the foil on.
- Right about now I throw a frozen pizza in the oven because the roast garlic aroma makes me pizza-crazed.
- After a few hours, it will be cool enough to touch. Use your food processor, and do this: Pick up a bulb, hold it sideways over the bowl and squeeze from the bottom. All those beautiful cloves will literally slide out of their skins and into the bowl for you. Discard the skin.
- I used my new pestle and mortar for this job because it was a great opportunity to season it (Greg got it for me for my birthday) and also because I’m kinda old school. It also has a huge bowl perfect for this type of thing, not like those teeny marble things you can buy at the mall.
Assuming you use a food processor, process your cloves until they are a paste. You can add salt now too, but if you leave it alone you can salt it later when you’re using it in a recipe.
- Roast garlic will only keep for about a week in the fridge, and this is a lot to use in a week, so I greased a mini muffin pan with cooking spray and used my cookie scoop to drop little 1 Tablespoon balls into cups. I threw this in the freezer over night and the next day popped the garlic balls out and put them in a freezer bag back in the freezer for easy access.