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How to Roast Garlic in the Oven for a Major Flavor Boost

Trust us, this is what your veggies and homemade hummus are missing.
Whole roasted garlic

Have you ever attempted to roast garlic? It may sound like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be when you know how easy it really is. Roasting garlic adds a nice touch to your meal because it gives a warm, savory relish to just about any food, whether that be homemade hummus, sautéed veggies, or a roast for a hearty family meal.

Historically, garlic has been eaten raw for medicinal purposes. Garlic has been around for thousands of years and is often applauded for its antibacterial properties. According to the University of Vermont, garlic was one of the first antibiotics used by ancient Greeks and Romans. The chemical that gives garlic its antibacterial and anti-fungal properties is known as allicin, which is released by biting, crushing, and chopping it up. However, once heat is applied to the garlic clove, the chemical is destroyed. This is the case with many chemicals and nutrients in foods that are cooked at intense heats. If you love the taste of garlic though, you can't go wrong with these two recipes below.

How to roast garlic

In order to learn how to properly roast garlic, we consulted Chef George Mendes, who is the Owner and Executive Chef of Aldea in New York City, and author of My Portugal: Recipes and Stories. "I always like to roast whole garlic heads—not individual cloves," Mendes says. He provided us with two different approaches that he uses when roasting garlic in the oven.

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Whether you want a nicely roasted topping or a deeper flavor from your garlic, these two ways of roasting garlic in your oven are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser to any food they're added to.

Method 1:

1. Wash the garlic, then rub the entire thing with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle liberally with coarse salt.
2. Lay the garlic heads on an aluminum foil-lined cookie sheet. Roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20-30 minutes, until the cloves are soft to the touch and have a very aromatic scent.
3. Remove from the oven, then peel the skin off the cloves and use accordingly.

Method 2:

1. Cut the garlic heads in half horizontally to expose the cloves and create a flat surface.
2. Roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes. The cloves will develop more color and a deeper roasted flavor this way.
3. Peel and serve!
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Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more