Did you know that in 2 days it’ll be September 1st?  Did you know that?  It’s a pretty well known fact and sometimes even happens every year.  Unlike birthdays which definitely only happen once every other year. Once you hit 30.

When September hits I start thinking about the 3 Rs.   Reading, Relaxing and Roasting.  I mainly just think about reading and relaxing.  Roasting though?  That one I actually do.  There’s something about autumn and roasted food that goes together.  The way it oven warms up the kitchen and carries the delicious aroma of browning, roasting food throughout the house.  Autumn and winter are for foods that take care and time.  Stews and roasts and slow cooked casseroles with crunchy tops oozing with rich flavours underneath.

I don’t think you should but you can skip right to the recipe if you want.
Roasted Garlic Spread Recipe

Starting in September, or whenever the nights get longer and the thermometer lower, I roast. I roast roasts, I roast chickens, I roast carrots, cabbage, sweet potatoes and squash.  Roasting anything makes it delicious. Except brussels sprout.  Deep frying is the only way you can go with those little devil heads.

So what happens during roasting exactly that’s so magical?

Roasting breaks down the sugars that are in all vegetables no matter how “unsweet” they seem.  Garlic for example probably isn’t something you’d describe as sweet.  Or onions.  But once you roast them they develop a sweet taste.


The heat from roasting (or pan frying) breaks down the large sugar cells in the vegetables into smaller ones. The breaking down of these cells distributes the sugars into smaller cells which in turn makes the vegetable softer, sweeter and allows it to caramelize.

Who cares, right?   I know.  I just wanted interject a bit of smart into one of my posts.


Roasted Garlic Spread Recipe

One of the most dramatic flavour changes from roasting is with garlic.  Garlic goes from sharp, strong and vampirey to smooth, mellow and toasty sweet when you roast it.

So the other day when I prepped all of the garlic I pulled this summer to get it ready to store for the winter I took a few bulbs, popped them in the oven and gorged myself on its roasty, toasty, goodness.


Roasted Garlic Spread Recipe

To roast garlic all you have to do is wrap it in a double layer of tin foil, throw it into a 400 degree oven (200 celsius), and wait.  45 minutes – 1 hour later you’ll have roasted garlic.

You can cut the top off of the garlic, drizzle it with olive oil and salt prior to baking but that step isn’t totally necessary.  It is helpful though because when you open your tin foil packet to check on the garlic you can see immediately if the garlic is starting to turn golden brown (which you want).  Golden = caramelized = sweet.


Roasted Garlic Spread Recipe

Once the garlic is soft and starting to turn golden, just pull it out of the oven, let it cool a bit so you can handle it, then squeeze each head into a bowl.  The cloves with be soft, mushy and very VERY sticky.  Seriously.  Stick. Y.

You can use roasted garlic to repair broken china, hang pictures on walls and apply false eyelashes which will stay on for 1-2 months.  It’s true.  Everybody says so.

Roasted Garlic Spread Recipe


Once the garlic is squished into a bowl add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a large pinch of salt for every 2 heads of garlic.  Mash it all up with a fork.

You now have roasted garlic spread.

Now what?  Well, you can keep it in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it for use throughout the winter, but I’m not sure I’d suggest you do that because then you’ll miss out on your house smelling like roasted garlic all winter long.  It’s better to do it the day you’re craving it so you can get the full sensory experience.


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  • 4 heads of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large pinches salt


  • Preheat oven to 400 f (200 celsius)
  • Cut the top off of the garlic to expose the top of the cloves.
  • Wrap garlic in a double layer of tin foil.
  • Put in preheated oven for 45 minutes - 1 hour (until heads are soft and cloves are golden)
  • Let garlic cool enough to handle then squish cloves out into bowl.
  • Add olive oil and salt then mash with a fork.
  • Store in fridge for 1 week or freeze indefinitely.


5 Uses for Roasted Garlic.
  1. Mix with sour cream to make a dip.
  2. Add to soups and stews to create a sweeter, more complex flavour than raw garlic.
  3. Add to sautéed vegetables like green beans or spinach.
  4. Add to mayonnaise for a roasted garlic aioli. (2 heads garlic per cup of mayo)
  5. Spread on toasted baguettes.  THIS is my favourite.

Even though you can spread roasted garlic on a baguette slice all on its own, because there’s absolutely no shame in being super-boring, you might want to think of adding a few other things.

To get you rolling I have a few examples of ways you can amp up your toasted baguette/roasted garlic game.


Roasted Garlic Spread Recipe

From the bottom up:

  1.  Toasted baguette with roasted garlic.  Delicious.  If you’ve never tried the other ones.
  2. Toasted baguette with roasted garlic, topped with brie or mozzarella cheese and broiled.
  3. Toasted baguette with roasted garlic, diced tomatoes, torn basil leaves, sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil across the top.
  4. Toasted baguette with roasted garlic and avocado slices.  Generously salt.  A stunning creamy, rich creation.

That’s just to get you started. I’m sure you can think of a million other ways to dress up a baguette. And according to my calendar you have exactly 2 days to do it.


  1. SH says:

    The one with the chopped tomatoes? It looks so beautiful it made me tear up a little. Can hardly wait til Sept 1st to make some :D

    • Karen says:

      Oh! I’m going to have to scroll back and look at it then, lol. I’ve now passed the garlic phase and have entered the potato phase of my gardening life. 6 hours digging them up today. Fries for life! ~ karen

  2. Cate the Cursed says:

    Ahh, that good ole’ Maillard effect, works every time. Sherri, roasting (baking, toasting or sauteing) also removes moisture which then intensifies both the sweetness and the caramelization. Microwaves can’t really do that, they just excite the water molecules, that’s why nothing browns in them unless you use specialty pans or those frozen meals boxes. Even then it’s a pretty lame. But you do what you can and want to.

  3. Beth says:

    It’s over 100 degrees here in California. No roasting for us for at least 2 more months.

    • Karen says:

      Yikes! It’s supposed to go down to the single digits this week at night. So that’d be like … 50 F for you guys. Way cooler than it should be at this time of year. :/ ~ karen!

  4. Sherri says:

    The last couple of times I prepped garlic for bread, I used the microwave. I liked it fine. Peeled 1st then zapped. Not as pretty, though.

  5. jaine kunst says:

    I just took a loaf of bread out of the oven. Gonna schmear some roasted garlic on it as soon as I slice it. Who says you can’t eat roasted garlic on fresh bread for breakfast.

  6. Mary W says:

    I simply adore roasted garlic and whenever I try it, it doesn’t work. Now I see I never wrapped it in two layers of foil, didn’t cook it long enough nor did I let it cool before squishing. I will try your recipe as soon as I make some bread. Bread and garlic – what could be better – well, now I guess I need to get a bottle of wine.

    • Karen says:

      Cutting the very top off makes a big difference too because like I say, you can see when the garlic is getting browned. The ones I did for the post didn’t actually get brown enough for my liking but I was running out of light for photography so I had to pull them out of the oven, lol. ~ karen!

  7. Eileen says:

    waaaahhhh…curse whatever it is that no longer allows me to eat garlic. At least I’ve (mostly) gotten over the part where I couldn’t even smell it without getting nauseous…so I can vicariously imagine the yumminess of this. Maybe I’ll roast some brussel sprouts instead.

  8. danni says:

    If the oven is on and there’s heads of garlic around they are tossed in as well to cook. I deep-heart-love roasted garlic in skin-on smashed potatoes.
    I loathe loathe LOATH winter but these things make it bearable.

    BTW, loofa vines grew amazing, have to be 30′ at this point, NO BUG PESTS of ANY kind have bothered with them, (unlike everything else…) flowering is stunning and doesn’t stop! But… not one little knob of anything that resembles a loofa! Good enough they are handsome things, they earn their keep that way!

  9. Catherine Vosper says:

    Yum! You reminded me how much I like roasted garlic and how long since I’ve done any. Thanks!

  10. Katie C. says:

    There used to be a restaurant in our area that served a whole head of roasted garlic (sliced open) and bread to the table before your meal. You could just pop out a clove or two and spread them right on the bread… So delicious!

    Also, you’re crazy… Roasted Brussels sprouts are amazing.

  11. Gwennie says:

    A chef taught me to make roasted garlic by dumping raw cloves into a casserole/Pyrex dish. Almost cover with canola oil. Roast at 250 degrees for many hours until a beautiful soft brown color. I store the roasted cloves in a mason jar, reserving the now flavored oil to use too. It lasts for months and I don’t use any raw garlic in recipes, just adding twice the amount of roasted garlic goodness.

  12. Ev Wilcox says:

    Hmmm, Roasted Brussels sprouts with roasted garlic…just say’in! Thanks for reminding me about this-it makes garlic even more wonderful. Thinking about baking a meatloaf and baked potatoes today, and can do up some garlic at same time. Summers over, after all. Thanks again!

  13. Jane S says:

    My boss once called me into her office and asked me to close the door. I was nervous. She asked me if she smelled. She had eaten about 20 cloves of roasted garlic the night before. I suggested that she postpone any important meetings.

  14. Adrienne says:

    Waiting to see how long it takes you to get served by the office of some seedy lawyer whose commercials run during Jerry Springer and Maury Povich by someone claiming to have burned their eyes shut because they tried to apply false lashes with hot-from-the-oven roasted garlic.

    PS – Thanks for getting me looking forward to the comfort eats of fall and winter. Love me some garlic!

  15. Sandra Lea says:

    Roasted garlic is one of my most favorite things in the world. I think I’ll be making some tonight.

  16. TucsonPatty says:

    My mouth is watering can. One of my favorite restaurants used to serve baked Brie and garlic with a hard roll. Spread the garlic, then spread the soft, hot Brie on the roll. Heaven. Schmeared on a baguette would be wonderful, too. This sounds yummy!

  17. MrsChrisSA says:

    Ooo yum – so going to do this!!

    As for the Brussel Sprouts – the best way to have them? Not at all!!!!

  18. Deborah Burns says:

    Yum to it ALL!

    I like it when some smarts is interjected into my reading material – Thanks!

  19. Lois Baron says:

    Looooooooove it. Thanks for reminding me of delicious things to put on baguettes along with garlic. Toast is one of my absolute favorite smells. :-)

  20. Trisha says:

    You just blew my mind! I have no idea why I have never thought to freeze a big batch of roasted garlic for when I am ready to use it.

    I always think of roasting it but rarely do since it just seems to add an extra step when I ain’t got time for it. Seriously. You’re brilliant!

    • Karen says:

      Not really brilliant, lol. I just freeze e v e r y t h i n g. There is always, always something in my freezer to eat in case of an eating emergency! ~ karen

      • Meg says:

        Do you have a big/deep freezer? Just curious, because ours tends to get cluttered then it’s no use. Sadface.

        Either way, roasting things THEN freezing to use later is definitely on the side of clever, if not brilliant!

      • Karen says:

        OHHHHHHHH yes. I have a freezer. It’s a smallish chest freezer, but I used to be like you too. I had a cluttered freezer and half the stuff in there died a slow death after being buried under other stuff for years. SO. I did this. I organized my freezer to within an inch of it’s life several years ago. It has changed my life. ~ karen!

      • Meg says:

        Oh awesome! Thanks for the link! I had evidently missed that one, in some too-much-living-at-work fugue.

        And thanks! Your posts are so rad. I’m a “starter” so I definitely need the nudge to FINISH things… haha! and then organize so I can start more!

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