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I feel like I failed

So not more than 45min go I roasted my own garlic, toasted a english muffin and sat down to enjoy this delectable flavor I keep hearing about........and am greatly disappointed. The taste was bland and slightly bitter.

I am a garlic lover! but this just doesn't taste very good. I used the purple skinned ones doused them in olive oil and baked them at 350F for 35 min. They smelled wonderful!

They are fork tender and mush easily...but what did I do wrong to make them taste like this???

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  1. Are those the Elephant garlic heads you used? I don't use E. garlic, since I don't think it has enough flavor. I also sprinkle it with kosher salt before roasting, maybe that helps with the flavor. Maybe they didn't caramelize enough, they should be a caramel color too. Hope that helps.

    1. I second what Phurstluv said....maybe it didn't caramelize enough to develop the wonderful sweet flavor that many people adore about roasted garlic. And a sprinkle of salt really helps make that sweetness "pop". Never used elephant garlic to make roasted garlic, but it is milder (aka "blander") than most types.....nothing to do with what you did!

      If it's still in the skin, maybe wrap back up in foil and pop it back in the oven for another 30 minutes at 350-375 till golden brown. If the cloves are already out of the skins, then I'd cover with olive oil and bake, covered, in a 325 over till very soft and golden- sort of like a garlic confit. The nice bonus then is you have some garlic oil to strain off and keep in the fridge!

      1 Reply
      1. re: 4Snisl

        I did already pack it in some olive oil and put it in the fridge. I figured it wouldn't be a total loss if I got some garlic oil out of it and I could still cook with the garlic cloves themselves. Just not eat them alone.

      2. layer it with some pesto and goat cheese and it will be lovely!!!

        1. I actually rarely have good luck roasting garlic in the oven - I don't know if I'm using too high a temp or what, but mine usually comes out with the outer cloves burned and the inner ones still raw. I also find it highly annoying to have to pick the skins off of the teeny tiny cloves in the middle. So, what I do is buy a container of pre-peeled garlic, pick out the biggest cloves, put them in a saucepan with olive oil to cover and cook them on the stovetop over medium-low heat (so the oil just barely bubbles) until they're soft and caramelized. Strain off the oil and reserve it for whatever - it will have a lovely roasted garlic flavor too!

          3 Replies
          1. re: biondanonima

            I also find it highly annoying to have to pick the skins off of the teeny tiny cloves in the middle.
            ~~~~~~~~~~
            you peel the*individual* cloves after they're roasted? that's insane...and i say this as someone who skins chickpeas by hand.

            slice a small portion off the top of the bulb before roasting, and once it's done, let it cool just enough so you can handle it. hold upside-down over a bowl or glass jar, and squeeze...it will all shoot right out. just be VERY careful because some of the innermost garlic will still be molten hot, and it can squirt sideways if you press too hard. keeping the roasting foil wrapped around the base will help prevent it from sticking to your hands.

            oh, and it sounds like your oven is too hot. what temperature do you usually use for roasting it?

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              No, I don't really peel them, but as I mentioned I find that my innermost cloves are usually underdone, so they don't smush out the way the larger, outer ones do. The smushing process irritates me too, as I find that a lot of the garlic usually stays in the skin. I've totally given up on oven roasting and just do it on the stovetop - more bang for my buck and time investment!

            2. re: biondanonima

              And the nice part about this is you get garlic oil, and it takes that garlic odor out of the garlic so that you can taste the garlic, but not smell like it for days after

            3. I don't like the flavor of roasted garlic, either. In butter or oil or mashed to a paste or simmered in cream for any number of potato preps, oh yeah, but I just don't enjoy it roasted. My elderly parents were early to that game and do Sunday supper with stinky cheeses like they always have (and I've always loved, but I just don't get it.

              2 Replies
              1. re: marthasway

                +1. I always find it bitter when roasted, but love it stewed in the ways you suggested.

                1. re: marthasway

                  Love garlic in every form except roasted and spread on bread or toast. Tried it many times in many forms. Now roast those cloves with a chicken so they get all flavored with the schmaltz and that it worth eating.

                2. The earlier post referring to "Elephant Garlic" inspires me to comment.
                  "Elephant" garlic (which is a distant relative to garlic but not truly garlic) isn't suitable for roasting. I don't use it for anything but, if you chose to try it, stop short of roasting or cooking with it and just add it to vegetables etc. in its raw form. It has a very mild (more like just a hint) of garlic flavor.
                  Garlic becomes bitter when it's browned. Roasted garlic should not be allowed to brown. By the time it's become caramel colored, especially if it's not a very young and fresh head, it can be quite bitter and a real disappointment. I'd suggest slow roasting and testing periodically, before it browns, to determine when it's tender and ready for mashing.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: todao

                    IMO, bitterness is really only a problem if you take it too far. a *light* caramel color is desirable because at that point you've developed the flavor of the sugars without burning them. but when it gets closer to deep caramel or true brown, you venture into bitter territory.

                  2. This the the type of garlic I used. I do not think it is the elephant garlic everyone is talking about, looked it up those things are huge!! These were about the size of the inner portion of my palm. maybe I didn't bake long enough, tops of the cloves only had a little brown to them.

                     
                    3 Replies
                    1. re: BelovedofIsis

                      maybe I didn't bake long enough, tops of the cloves only had a little brown to them.
                      ~~~~~~~~
                      you know, i didn't even notice the time & temp info in your OP when i read it the first time around - you didn't give it enough heat or time to develop the flavor. i always roast mine at 375 for an hour, or 400 for about 40 minutes.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Ok I will give it another try. I have a european fan oven so not only do I have to convert F to C but also knock 20 degrees off the temp. Thank you!

                        1. re: BelovedofIsis

                          i'll make it easy for you:
                          - 175ºC for 55 mins to an hour
                          OR
                          - 190ºC for 35 - 40 minutes

                          remove a bit of the outer paper but leave a few layers intact. slice a piece off the top of the bulb (not the stem end) to expose the cloves. drizzle with a bit of oil, wrap the entire bulb in foil or parchment, and roast until fragrant - when opened the exposed pulp where you cut off the top should be lightly caramelized/golden, but not "brown."

                    2. Are you roasting in a terra cotta pot? My garlic was bitter until I took a flower pot, soaked it in water for a bit, then sliced the top off the garlic and roasted inside the pot. Use the base of the pot for the bottom and then just turn the upper portion over it to cover. It comes out very nutty and not bitter. I believe it should roast about an hour at 300 degrees but suggest you read about it so it turns out how you would like it. The bitterness typically comes from the garlic being overcooked.

                      found this
                      http://www.ehow.com/how_2297680_use-g...

                      but I just used the small flower pots that cost about $1.50

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: ROCKLES

                        I had seen the garlic roasters online, but I don't own one. I cooked it in a small white baking dish covered with tin foil.

                        1. re: BelovedofIsis

                          I don't use a special roaster either. It gets double-wrapped in foil and thrown in the oven right on the rack. Or, if it's in a dish with other items like roast chicken & vegetables, it just gets put in the roasting pan without the foil.

                      2. Roasted garlic sounds like a no brainer. All too often though the result is bitter, inedible mush. Roasting at a high temperature as you would for most vegetables just doesn’t work for garlic. The secret is low and slow, as in temperature and time. The result is a garlic deeply flavored and slightly sweet. Hopefully this works for you!

                        1 head of garlic
                        1 TBL olive oil

                        Preheat the oven to 325.
                        Cut with a knife just enough off the top of the garlic so all cloves can be covered in olive oil.
                        Drizzle with half of the olive oil, let saturate, and drizzle with remaining olive oil.
                        Wrap in tin foil and cook for one hour or until garlic is golden and some of the larger cloves have popped slightly from the paper.

                        1. Can you tell us what you did, aside from the type of garlic you used?

                          This is what I do, and what I suggest.

                          Preheat oven 375F
                          Cut off the pointed ends of the garlic to reveal the bulbs
                          Put the garlic bulbs into a baking dish
                          Pour some EVOO into the garlic so that the oil seeps down the bulb
                          Let the garlic rest for about 30 minutes
                          Then cover and bake for about 1 hour, until garlic is fork tender
                          Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then serve.

                          1. Jeremiah Tower and Alice Waters are often credited with introducing roasted garlic into "Californian Cuisine" and therby to the rest of America...don't know if this is true or not but here is their recipe for roasted garlic. I have used it time and time again to generally very good reviews:

                            Roasted Garlic with White Cheese, Olives and Grilled Toasts

                            4 heads new, unsprouted garlic
                            6 to 7 sprigs fresh thyme, broken into small pieces
                            1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
                            1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
                            Salt and freshly ground black pepper
                            1/2 cup fresh goat cheese
                            1/4 cup heavy cream
                            Italian Bread, cut into thin slices
                            Olive oil for grilling the bread
                            2 or 3 kinds of green and black olives (but not the pitted California type)

                            Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Cut each head of garlic in half horizontally, brush the cut sides with olive oil, and put the heads back together. Arrange them in a shallow baking dish, place half the thyme around them, pour the melted butter and half the olive oil over them, and slat and pepper them. Cover and bake until the garlic is very soft but not at all browned, about 1 1/2 hours, basting the heads occasionally with the oil and butter in the pan.

                            Put the garlic heads on a serving plate. Mash the cheese with the cream to a spreadable consistency and scoop the cheese onto a serving plate. Pour the remaining olive oil over the cheese and sprinkle with the remaining thyme sprigs. Brush the bread slices lightly with olive oil and grill them on both sides until crisp and golden. serve the bread with the baked garlic, cheese, olives, and plenty of napkins. Each guest squeezes some of the garlic onto a toast, and tops the garlic with some of the cheese. Makes 4 servings.
                            Roasted Garlic with White Cheese, Olives and Grilled Toasts

                            4 heads new, unsprouted garlic
                            6 to 7 sprigs fresh thyme, broken into small pieces
                            1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
                            1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
                            Salt and freshly ground black pepper
                            1/2 cup fresh goat cheese
                            1/4 cup heavy cream
                            Italian Bread, cut into thin slices
                            Olive oil for grilling the bread
                            2 or 3 kinds of green and black olives (but not the pitted California type)

                            Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Cut each head of garlic in half horizontally, brush the cut sides with olive oil, and put the heads back together. Arrange them in a shallow baking dish, place half the thyme around them, pour the melted butter and half the olive oil over them, and slat and pepper them. Cover and bake until the garlic is very soft but not at all browned, about 1 1/2 hours, basting the heads occasionally with the oil and butter in the pan.

                            Put the garlic heads on a serving plate. Mash the cheese with the cream to a spreadable consistency and scoop the cheese onto a serving plate. Pour the remaining olive oil over the cheese and sprinkle with the remaining thyme sprigs. Brush the bread slices lightly with olive oil and grill them on both sides until crisp and golden. serve the bread with the baked garlic, cheese, olives, and plenty of napkins. Each guest squeezes some of the garlic onto a toast, and tops the garlic with some of the cheese. Makes 4 servings.

                            1. I roast garlic to spread on bread all the time, because isn't a gob of roasted garlic swimming in olive oil much better that butter? I think so!

                              Never used purple skinned ones, but I do make sure that the garlic heads are very fresh - NO green shoots popping up inside. Those do make everything extremely bitter, might be the problem?

                              I take a couple (or twelve) heads of FRESH garlic, separate the cloves from papery skin (throw those small cloves into the 'chicken stock' freezer bag). Toss in a small baking pan with olive oil and s&p. Cover with foil and roast slowly (300-325) for 30-45 minutes. Let cool, then pop the cloves out. Yes it's a lotta work up front, but roasted garlic keeps well in the fridge and can be frozen for ages.

                              Yum, now I'm hungry again! Peace - Pam