Roasted Garlic

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Use this roasted garlic paste as you would use minced raw garlic -- in salad dressings, pasta sauces, and salsas. You can grill the garlic as well -- just cook the packets, covered, over a medium-hot fire about one hour, or two hours over slow coals.


4 heads of garlic
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons olive oil or melted butter


  1. Loosen papery outside skin by rolling each head of garlic back and forth across a cutting surface; rub away loose skin. Cut off about Vi inch from tip end of each garlic head with a sharp knife, so that most clove interiors are exposed and garlic heads sit straight (see illustration 1, page 20).
  2. Place garlic heads, cut side down, in a medium saucepan. Add milk and bring to simmer. Poach garlic over low heat, until softened slightly, about 10 minutes. Drain garlic and rinse under cold running water to remove milk residue.
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place 1 head of garlic in the center of an 8-inch square of aluminum foil. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon oil over the garlic. Gather the corners of the foil over garlic; twist to seal. Repeat with remaining heads of garlic and oil.
  4. Roast garlic packets in a small baking dish until garlic is very soft, about 1 hour. Let packets cool. Remove from foil. Squeeze out softened garlic by hand or with the flat edge of a chef's knife, starting from the root end of the head and working down. Transfer garlic purée to a small bowl. Mash garlic with a fork or with the back of a wooden spoon to fully purée, if desired. Continue with one of the following recipes, or store purée in a small jar; top with olive oil. (The purée can be stored at room temperature for 1 week or refrigerated up to 1 month.)


Makes 1 cup


Cook's Illustrated - September/October 1993