Kitchen Basics: Roasted Garlic

October 8, 2012

In her biweekly column, Kitchen Basics, Susan Pachikara of Cardamom Kitchen demystifies essential cooking skills with step-by-step instructions and her own handsome photos. Whether she's showing us how much brown sugar we're meant to "pack"(or is it cram?) into measuring cups or how to detect when our onions are properly caramelized, Susan is the nonna we never had -- until now. Now, go on and get cozy under her wing.

This week, Susan demonstrates how to roast garlic.

roasted garlic

- Susan

I adore onions and cherish ginger, but nothing makes me swoon like the sonnet-worthy flavor of garlic. How do I love garlic? Please, allow me to count the ways. I love raw garlic with its crisp, edgy bite. I love sautéed garlic subdued a touch, but still full of spunk. When the air turns chilly, I love the nutty, sweet taste of roasted garlic emanating from a bowl of hot soup, thick pasta sauce, or a spoonful of rich dressing.

Roasting garlic is a simple, yet rewarding task. It not only results in a low-cost flavor booster, it also cloaks the kitchen with a cozy, comforting aroma like a well-worn woolen blanket. If you’re looking for a way to warm your tummy this fall, follow the steps below to roast a handful of plump, smooth-skinned garlic.

How to Roast Garlic

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a shallow baking dish with enough foil that the ends hang over the sides. 

Peel away any loose skin from the garlic bulbs.

Place a bulb on its side on a cutting board and slice 1/4 to 1/2 inch off the top, so the majority of cloves become visible. Repeat with the rest of the bulbs, if roasting more than one.

cutting garlic

cut garlic

Place the bulbs in the foil-lined dish with the cut side facing up. 

roasting garlic prep

Coat the cut surface of each bulb with olive oil. This will keep the garlic from burning.


Season with salt and pepper.

season roasted garlic

roasting garlic

Pull the ends of the foil together and fold them down a few times to seal the bulbs in the foil package. Place the baking dish in the oven and roast until the cloves turn golden brown and become tender all the way through, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

roasting garlic

Carefully peel away the outer skin to release the cloves. Squeeze the skin at the base of each clove to push out the soft flesh.

How to Store Roasted Garlic

To store roasted garlic, place the cloves in an airtight container and pour in enough olive oil to cover the cloves completely. Keep the oil-packed cloves in the refrigerator for up to one week.

roast garlic rosemary bread
Susan kneads whole cloves of roasted garlic into a loaf of rosemary bread

I’d love to see your tips for roasting garlic! Share them with your fellow cooks in the comments section below.

Are you new to cooking? Tell me what skills you'd like to learn and your idea could be featured in an upcoming post!

Photos by Susan Pachikara.

Want more basic tips from Susan? Check out her previous post: Kitchen Basics: Eggplant.

Susan writes the blog Cardamom Kitchen to share her culinary experiences as an Indian-American rooted in the Midwest. 

susan cardamom kitchen

2 Comments Add a Comment
  • Missing_avatar

    Jan Dash says: I roast garlic like this without the salt and pepper. In the olive oil in sterile jars in the refrigerator my garlic lasts INDEFINITELY. I like to have it on hand so I never have to prep garlic when I am preparing food. I think you would find your garlic lasts longer than a week, too- if you made more of it.

    about 1 year ago Reply to this »
  • S2

    Susan_P says: Thank you for the comment, Jan. I've made it plenty of times. But that's not my experience. Best, Susan

    about 1 year ago

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