Whole Roasted Garlic

Whole Roasted Garlic

Have you ever roasted a whole head of garlic? And then squeezed the sweet, soft cloves over warm French bread? And then sprinkled the spread with a bit of sea salt? It is so delectable.

Never did I imagine eating a head of garlic in one sitting. Nor did I imagine serving a head of garlic to each guest at a dinner party. It sounds ferocious. But roasting garlic whole in foil pouches with a few fresh herbs tames its bite, mellowing and sweetening its flavor, transforming it into a butter-like purée almost as tasty as salted bone barrow… yum yum yum.

Before I go any further, I have to share with you a beautiful blog, The Garden of Eden, recently launched by my friend Darcy Eden. It’s fresh and fun and filled with yummy recipes, fashionable finds and overall fantastic style. One of her posts was already picked up by Bon Appetit. Take a look — I know you’ll have fun with it!

Whole Roasted Garlic Spread on Warm Bread

Garlic & Oregano

Whole roasted garlic is a wonderful topping for warm bread but there are other uses as well: puréed and stirred into mashed potatoes; spread onto pizza; whisked into salad dressing.

Foil Pouches

Whole Roasted Garlic

Yield = How ever many heads you would like
Note: I make one foil pouch per head of garlic, but you probably could throw a couple of heads together in one pouch and have fine results.

1 head garlic
few sprigs of thyme (I used oregano here because I had no thyme on hand, but thyme is preferable)
olive oil
kosher salt

For serving:
French bread
nice salt

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Cut off the very top portion of the head of garlic to reveal a few cloves. Place garlic on a sheet of aluminum foil (large enough to wrap around the garlic in a little pouch). Nestle the herbs around the garlic. Drizzle garlic with a touch of olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Pour 2 T. of water around the head of garlic — you might want to curl up the sides of foil before doing so. Wrap the foil up into a beggar’s purse or pouch making sure the foil is sealed.

2. Place in the oven (directly on the rack or on a baking sheet) and roast for 1 hour. Remove pouches from oven and let cool briefly or tuck right in, taking care while opening the packages as steam might come pouring out.

3. Spread the garlic on warm bread; top with a pinch of salt.

Whole Roasted Garlic Spread


  1. says

    OMG that garlic spread on that bread looks SO good. Too bad I’m cutting out carbs to fit in a bridesmaids dress in a month. I’ll just have to LOOK at pics of food I want to eat instead.

  2. says

    It’s incredible how something so simple and give forth such great flavor. Thanks so much for sharing. your roasted garlic looks awesome.

  3. says

    Love roasted garlic! I have a head in the oven as I write this. I’ve never tried it with fresh herbs. I think it would be fantastic. I didn’t have any in the house tonight but will get some tomorrow and make some more then.

  4. Diane says

    Great pictures!
    May I ask what the water does, I have roasted many a head of garlic before, but have not added the water. Just curious.
    I know I will be trying your method, have not tried adding fresh herbs – and there is thyme from my garden calling to me now…..
    Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Diane — I’m not sure exactly, but I imagine it helps create steam, which might help the garlic soften? If you have roasted many a head of garlic without water, however, than I see no reason to add it. I do so only because Sally Schneider, my favorite cookbook author, says to do so, and I do everything she says :)

  5. Jenny says

    There was a french restaurant my husband took me to for Valentine, they served these roasted garlic cloves with the bread. They are amazing! So yummy. Yours looks just like the ones from the restaurant.

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