Pop Them in Your Mouth or Use Them for Cooking—It’s Endless!

Marlenea La Shomb, N.D., P.Tr.
Jan – Feb 2024 • Vol 4, No 8

Garlic (Allium sativum) is a species of bulbous, perennial flowering plant in the genus Allium. The word garlic derives from Old English, garlēac, meaning: gar (spear) and leek, as a “spear-shaped leek.”

Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, Welsh onion, and Chinese onion. It is native to South Asia, Central Asia and northeastern Iran and has long been used as a seasoning worldwide, with a history of several thousand years of human consumption and use. Garlic is one of our most widely used, healthful and medicinal plants.

Garlic was known to ancient Egyptians and has been used as both a food flavoring and a Traditional Medicine. China produces about 75% of the world’s supply of garlic—yet you can grow it in your own garden! If garlic is planted at the proper time and depth, it can be grown as far north as Alaska. It stores well, and you can use it all winter long.

You can find whole-roasted garlic in fancy restaurants, which is easy to cook in your own kitchen. Roasting produces a milder flavor that you can pop right into your mouth. Here’s how to roast whole heads of garlic in the oven so you can eat warm, toasty cloves right from the bulb.

Roasting garlic changes the chemical makeup of the garlic so that it’s easier to digest. You can eat a lot more garlic if it is completely cooked. If you are sensitive to raw garlic, you may find that you can much more easily eat roasted garlic.

Ingredients: 1/more whole garlic bulbs • Extra virgin olive oil

Prep Time:      5 mins
Cook Time:     35 mins
Total Time:     40 mins
Servings:       4 (per bulb)


  • Preheat your oven to 400°F. (A toaster oven works great for this.)
  • Peel and discard the papery outer layers of the bulb.
  • Leave the individual skins for each clove of garlic intact.
  • Using a sharp knife, cut 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the top of cloves. This exposes the individual cloves of garlic. Put garlic in a glass baking casserole dish with the cut side up, or use a muffin baking pan.
  • Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each exposed head, using your fingers to rub the olive oil over all the cut, exposed garlic cloves.
  • Put the glass lid on your casserole dish. Bake at 400°F for 30–40 minutes, or until the cloves are lightly browned and feel soft when pressed.
  • Allow the garlic to cool enough so you can touch it without burning yourself. Use a cocktail fork or your fingers to squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins.

How to Use Whole Roasted Garlic:

Eat them as is—I love straight roasted garlic—you can eat the caramelized, roasted cloves directly out of the heads! You can mash them with a fork and use them for cooking.

For a sophisticated take on garlic bread, smear it on bread or toast. Add it with cloves to a cheese plate, or toss it into pasta. Mashed, roasted garlic is a delicious addition to salad dressings, sauces, and soups. Mix them with sour cream for a dip. And they’re wonderful for garlic mashed potatoes! The uses for whole roasted garlic are endless!