How To Store That Garlic You Just Roasted

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

The scent of roasting garlic could wake up almost anyone's taste buds. When garlic is eaten raw, it's pungent and aggressive, but the longer it's cooked, the more the flavors mellow out. Slow-roasting garlic helps it become an aromatic, slightly sweet addition to your dish. The easiest way to roast garlic is by doing the whole head; all you have to do is cut off the top, drizzle with oil, and then bake it in the oven. But what if you don't need to use all of that roasted garlic right away?

If you store it in an airtight container, roasted garlic can last for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator. The best way to store it -- and make a delicious infused oil all at once -- is by submerging the roasted garlic in olive oil in an airtight container. Remember to label it before you put it in the fridge.

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The Best Way To Store Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic in oil
Roasted garlic in oil - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Garlic is better protected from oxygen when stored in oil, so fully submerging it lessens the likelihood of an oxidation reaction and reduces the ability for microbes to grow. Plus, you'll be left with a nice infused olive oil that you can use in other dishes. Garlic in olive oil absolutely must be refrigerated. Garlic has the potential to carry botulism spores; botulism is a sometimes-deadly toxin that can wreak havoc on your body's nerve cells. When garlic is stored in oil at room temperature, it creates a perfect storm for those toxins to develop because of the lack of oxygen and acidity.

If you don't think you'll use the roasted garlic within two weeks, you can also freeze it. Garlic freezes well as long as it's kept in an air-tight container. With this method, the garlic should last up to three months. But before freezing, remove the cloves from the garlic skin, and let them freeze individually (such as on a baking sheet). From there, you can add them to the container. To thaw roasted garlic, simply transfer it to the refrigerator to let it thaw slowly for a few hours; another option for quick-thawing is to put it in a plastic bag and submerge in warm water.

The Best Ways To Use Roasted Garlic

Drizzling oil on pizza
Drizzling oil on pizza - Lightfieldstudios/Getty Images

Roasted garlic is fragrant and flavorful, but its flavor is muted in a way that lets you use it more liberally than raw garlic. You can keep it simple and just serve it on baguette slices that have been toasted and buttered, or you can add it as a flavor enhancer to almost any dish. Penne with vodka sauce or fettuccine Alfredo will both benefit from the addition of roasted garlic. Its warm flavor would also create a surprisingly perfect contrast in a bright, crisp salad.

That infused olive oil can steal the show in any dish, too. Keep it simple by drizzling a little bit on any pasta dish, or your favorite pizza. (It's also a great way to upgrade your frozen pizza.) Roasted garlic oil makes a great addition to almost any marinade. Try frying some eggs in it, too, then topping them with a little chili crisp for an easy, flavorful breakfast. Just remember that if you've been storing the garlic and oil for a while, check for an off smell or any discoloration as that might signal that it has gone bad.

Read the original article on Daily Meal