Here’s a recipe for an oven roasted garlic appetizer featuring soft, mellow, golden garlic cloves roasted with olive oil on warm Focaccia bread. Simple and popular.
When garlic is roasted, it loses its pungent bite and becomes sweet-flavored and mellow. I love serving the oven roasted garlic as an appetizer on warm Focaccia. I had something similar in a restaurant a few months ago and tried it out on a group of friends soon after. Thumbs up.
But there are many other ways to use oven roasted garlic. For example, try them in mashed potatoes, aioli, pastas, tossed with cooked vegetables, on pizza or in guacamole. Very versatile.
The added bonus is the garlic-infused oil the garlic cooks in which is great for drizzling on bread, pasta, vegetables or salads.
The roasting time for the garlic takes 40-50 minutes, but the hands on time for this recipe is only about 7 minutes. In fact, you can even make the oven roasted garlic days ahead which means you only have to do some warming and drizzling to assemble the appetizer just before serving.
Tips for Oven Roasted Garlic
How to peel garlic – two ways
- Smash whole head of garlic with palm of hand to separate cloves. Place flat of chef’s knife over each clove and press down firmly. Remove skin. You may have to cut up hard tips on ends of garlic before skins will fall off. Video by Jamie Oliver.
- (Faster way): Smash whole head of garlic with palm of hand to separate cloves. Place cloves in a large container or jar. Close container and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds. Peels will fall off cloves. Video by Saveur
Roasting with Parchment (instead of foil)
- If you’re concerned about foil touching your food, Chef Tori Avey suggests wrapping the garlic and oil in parchment first, then a second layer of foil (not touching the food). The garlic, however, does not caramelize with this method. To brown it, you can put it back in the oven, uncovered, for another 5-10 minutes.
How to store roasted garlic
- Place roasted garlic in a container (or ziploc bag) and cover it with olive oil. Seal and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- To freeze, lay garlic in a single layer on a tray. Freeze for an hour, then transfer to a ziploc bag. Freezes for up to a month.
- See peeling tips above
- Buy pre-peeled garlic cloves. Costco sells them in bulk. I get them at my local Asian grocery store.
- Skillet method: you can achieve ‘roasted’ garlic in a skillet by sauteing cloves with oil (not extra virgin) over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until soft, glazed and golden.
- See make ahead options under ‘how to store roasted garlic’ above.
Oven Roasted Garlic Appetizer
- 12 garlic cloves, peeled Note 1
- olive oil
- pinch salt and sugar (optional)
- 1/2 Focaccia bread or baguette
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley (optional Garnish)
- Heat oven to 375F.
- PREPARE GARLIC FOR ROASTING: Place peeled garlic cloves on a double layer of tin foil. Drizzle oil over cloves to coat - about 2 tablespoons. Add pinch of salt and sugar if desired (I do), Lift edges of tin foil upward to enclose garlic. Scrunch top if tin foil together to seal garlic pouch. Lay it on a pan in case of leaking.
- ROAST GARLIC: Place pouch on pan in oven. Roast for 40-55 minutes, depending on size of garlic cloves. Garlic is ready when it's soft, golden and slightly caramelized.
- MAKE APPETIZER AND SERVE: Heat Focaccia (or other bread) in 350F pre-heated oven for 5-6 minutes or until warmed through and slightly crisped up. Transfer to cutting board and cut into bite size pieces (2-3 inches). Drizzle with garlic cloves along with the garlic-infused oil. Top with chopped parsley if desired. Serve with a butter knife if guests want to spread garlic on bread.
Here are two other simple and popular appetizers (with garlic) you might like:
Spiced Herbed Popcorn get the recipe
Homemade Dukkah Appetizer get the recipe