The Squeezing Mistake You're Making With Your Roasted Garlic

Close-up of roasted garlic
Close-up of roasted garlic - Rudisill/Getty Images

There is no greater kitchen smell than the scent of garlic when it hits heat. It's a fragrance that awakens the senses; it can make you hungry even if you've just finished a meal. Sure, you can give it a quick sauté in a pan with a little oil, but taking the low and slow route will change its flavor and texture into something totally irresistible. If you've ever had roasted garlic, you might think you know the drill: cut off the top, add some olive oil, then wrap it and roast it before squeezing it from the bulb, right? Actually, you've been doing it wrong this whole time.

Squeezing the garlic out of the bulb means inevitably leaving some behind. The pressure hits the exterior cloves, and they fall out with ease, but those interior cloves get pushed and squished into the bulb, and delicious garlic ends up going to waste. Instead, gently remove each garlic clove with a spoon to ensure you're getting every last bit -- and if the cloves are extra tiny, recruit the edge of a knife to get those harder-to-reach pieces.

Read more: 11 Of The Best Cooking Tips From Bobby Flay

Stop Wasting Your Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic on baguette
Roasted garlic on baguette - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Roasting garlic is easy, and it adds flavor to almost any dish. You can spread whole roasted cloves right onto a baguette for a quick snack, or add them into a pasta dish for major flavor. You want to make sure your garlic bulb is flat on the bottom so it roasts evenly. Cut the top of the bulb to expose the cloves, then place it in some aluminum foil, and coat the entire top with olive oil. (You can add a little sea salt to bring out the flavor, too). Then, tightly wrap it, and let the oven go to work. It should be baked at around 400 degrees Fahrenheit and takes anywhere from 45 minutes to a little more than an hour, depending on your oven and the bulb size. If you have the time, remove the garlic every 20 minutes, and spoon that olive oil back onto it. This basting process helps it roast even better.

Once it's done, resist the urge to squeeze it. Instead, grab a spoon, and gently scoop the garlic out of its skin. This keeps every garlic clove exposed, ensuring you grab them all and don't miss any. Swap the spoon for a knife if some cloves are too small, being careful not to hurt yourself.

Tips For The Best Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic bulbs with thyme
Roasted garlic bulbs with thyme - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

You want to make sure the garlic is fully roasted before removing it. It should be a nice golden-brown color, and it will be soft enough that it spreads like butter. Plus, as it roasts, it separates from the skin, so if you remove the garlic and it's still attached, it probably needs a little more time.

You can use roasted garlic on almost anything. As it cooks, that strong, pungent garlic taste mellows out, making it much milder than when it's raw. For this reason, you can add a lot more of it to a dish without it feeling overpowering.

While it's best when eaten right from the oven, you can refrigerate the garlic if needed. To preserve it, store it in olive oil, which prevents oxygen from reaching it and keeps it fresh for up to two weeks. You can eat it straight from the refrigerator, or warm it gently in the oven for about five minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.