At what temperature should garlic be roasted? Also, do the pottery garlic roasters do a better job? (My husband and I aren’t garlic eaters, but can see the health benefits and must find a way to endure it!)
Yes, garlic is a health godsend; fighting heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer — what more can you ask for in a food?
As for cooking temperature, most good cookbooks recommend a 350 degree F oven for 30 to 75 minutes; I like to use a lower temp of 300 degrees for 60 minutes. Here’s my reasoning: Have you ever overcooked minced garlic in a sauté pan? I have– and I don’t like the bitter-tasting results. When garlic is permitted to brown in the pan, it takes on a whole different flavor personality. Don’t get me wrong: some people like the sharp flavor of browned garlic. In fact, roasted garlic that has carmelized can certainly bring a distinctive, roasted flavor to whatever dish it graces. However, I roast garlic to keep a flavoring aromatic on hand. I prefer a light and creamy garlic flavor to enhance a dish, rather than one that steals the flavor show and overpowers all the other flavors. So I moderate the heat and give it a long, slow roast.
You need to retain moisture in the garlic cloves during roasting. In order to do this, some cooks drench the whole bulb in olive oil. I prefer to go the low-fat route, using foil or a pottery garlic roaster. Pottery roasters do the job well, clean up easily and save foil.
Whatever method you choose, always shop for the freshest, hardest garlic bulbs. One sign of freshness I look for is purple on the outside skin. Garden experts might say that’s baloney, but this test has always served me well.