Learn how to roast garlic to buttery soft, caramelized perfection in three super-easy steps.
Garlic is a magical ingredient. Its raw cloves are pungent and spicy, great for adding a punch of allium flavor to salsas, marinara, and marinades. Then, when you sauté chopped or minced garlic in fat or add it to soups or other brothy recipes, its flavor mellows, infusing your dish with herbaceous, oniony warmth.
But that's just the beginning, friends.
Roast a whole head of garlic at home, and you'll witness a true scientific marvel. The cloves turn a rich amber color, soften to a spreadable consistency, and somehow both deepen and mellow in flavor. When they come out of the oven, the cloves are as tender as room-temperature butter with a rich taste that reminds me of homemade gravy with hints of caramel and nuts. Roasted garlic is sweet. It's garlicky. It's luxurious. And yes, it's the perfect pizza topping.
Not sure how to make roasted garlic? Just follow these three simple steps (and scroll down for the full recipe).
1. Rub off most of the papery outer coverings of the garlic head and slice off the top.
2. Drizzle the exposed garlic cloves with olive oil and wrap the head in foil.
3. Roast at 400°F for about 40 minutes.
Here are some roasted garlic pizza ideas to get you started:
- Mash 12 roasted garlic cloves with salt and olive oil, and use it as a "sauce" for your next white pizza.
- Sprinkle chopped roasted garlic on any pizza topped with red bell peppers, mushrooms, and/or spinach.
- Whip some ricotta with salt, pepper, and a few roasted garlic cloves, and dollop the mixture on your pizza, either before or after baking.
- Aluminum foil
- Baking sheet
- 1 head garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Rub most of the skins off of the garlic head, leaving just the thin ones that cover the cloves. Then, using a sharp knife, slice off the top ¼ to ½ inch of the garlic head, exposing the cloves.
- Place the garlic head on a square of aluminum foil, cut-side up, and drizzle the exposed garlic cloves with olive oil. Fold the corners of the foil up and over the garlic head, then pinch the edges of foil together to make a sealed pouch.
- Place the foil pouch on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, until the garlic cloves are very tender. (Check by carefully peeling back the foil and piercing a clove with the tip of a sharp knife; the knife should slide right in with very little resistance.) If you want your roasted garlic to be even more caramelized, let it roast for another 10 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the garlic from the oven. Let it cool for a few minutes in the pouch, then carefully peel back the foil.
- If you want your roasted garlic cloves intact, use a long, thin fillet knife or the pointed end of a chopstick to nudge them out of their skins. If you’re going to mash the roasted garlic anyway, hold the garlic clove in your hand, cut side facing out, and squeeze the cloves into a small bowl.