Garlic is a vital ingredient in Jewish cooking; both Sephardi and Ashkenazi Jews use it to flavor countless dishes. While garlic is incredibly healthy, for some it can be difficult to digest. I happen to be one of those people—too much raw garlic makes me ill. I use it when I cook for others, but I can’t eat too much of it myself. It’s a shame, because I really love the flavor of garlic.
I discovered that if I roast the garlic prior to adding it to my dishes, it mellows the potency of the garlic and makes it easier to digest. I also love the smoky flavor roasting creates. For those of you who are garlic lovers, the soft smoky cloves can be spread straight onto bread as a condiment (it’s especially yummy paired with goat cheese on toasted french bread). It can also be substituted for raw garlic in many dishes to give a milder, more delicate flavor.
Today I’m sharing my preferred method for roasting garlic. It’s so simple, and the results are super yummy– no special equipment needed!
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the outer skin from the garlic head, leaving the cloves intact in their casings.
- Slice the top part of the garlic head off, leaving the cloves exposed.
- Put the garlic head onto a square of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil.
- Wrap the garlic up in the foil. Put it on a small baking sheet and place it in the hot oven for 45 minutes.
- Remove garlic from the oven and unfold carefully-- there will be hot steam inside. You may wish to let it cool for several minutes before unwrapping.
- After you take the garlic out of the foil, you will see your garlic is nicely roasted. It should look similar to this:
- Squeeze the cloves out from their casings. They will be soft, caramelized, and easy to spread on toast or crackers.
- Now the roasted garlic cloves are ready to use in your favorite recipe, or as an appetizer. Enjoy!