If you’ve been following Earth, Food, and Fire for a while, you may have noticed that I LOVE salad. There are simply so many different variations possible, from salad dressings, to the actual salad ingredients. You can make salads seasonal, (such as with these 11 spring inspired salads), or throw whatever you happen to have in the fridge together. This simple roasted garlic salad dressing is a basic recipe which can be used to create a wide variety of salads at home.
Use it as a substitute for Caesar Salad (or turn it into a Caesar dressing by adding Parmesan and anchovies), add some balsamic vinaigrette to go over a simple green salad, or add some honey mustard, and toss it with roasted root vegetables!
While fresh garlic cloves offer harsh and fairly strong garlic flavor (which most of us are familiar with), roasted garlic takes on a whole new flavour. While still full of garlic flavour, the taste is no longer harsh and develops an almost mellow sweetness. By roasting the garlic you caramelize the natural sugars (which develop this sweetness), and break down the garlic’s enzymes which are responsible for it’s sharp taste.
This results in wonderfully creamy flesh which can be scooped out, then mashed or pureed and used as a spread on crackers! The soft state of the roasted garlic cloves make them ideal for blitzing in with salad dressings, creating a rich creamy texture.If you have never roasted fresh garlic at home...you're missing out! Click To Tweet
Whenever possible, roast your garlic whole drizzled in oil and placed in a shallow dish. Lower oven temperatures (300F-325F) create a sweeter roasted garlic but take longer to fully roast the garlic. Higher temperatures(350F-375F) speed up the process but don’t caramelize the sugars as gently and you risk creating burnt/off flavors.
Creamy Roasted Garlic Dressing
Since I wanted this recipe to stand out on it’s own, yet still be versatile enough to act as a base for other salad dressings, the ingredients are quite limited. You probably already have everything you need to make this roasted garlic dressing if you cook from scratch on a regular basis.
2 Whole bulbs garlic ( I grow my own and use Hardneck Purple Stripe Garlic)
3/4 Cup olive oil
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp cracked black pepper
1 Tsp sea salt
Start by roasting the garlic bulbs, as shown in the pictures above. Slice the tops of the bulbs, place the tops and the rest of the bulb in a pan with some herbs, black peppercorns, and olive oil. Drizzle the oil over the bulbs of garlic so that the oil can seep in between the cloves.
Cover the pan with a lid if you have one, or cover it with tinfoil. Place in a pre-heated 325F oven and roast for about one hour. After removing the roasted garlic from the oven, let it cool to room temperature.
Squeeze the now soft cloves out of their skin, and into a blender, ( I recommend using a Vitamix Blender for the smoothest dressing) or food processor. By using a powerful blender such as a Vitamix, you are able to create a temporary emulsion which results in a rich creamy texture. Eventually the oil will split out, but all that’s needed is a strong mixing to bring it back together.
Add the rest of the dressing ingredients and blitz or puree until smooth. Taste and re-season the roasted garlic salad dressing with some salt and a pinch of sugar if it’s too tart for your liking.
That’s it! Pretty simple isn’t it? Simplicity is the name of the game in my kitchen, the easier something is to make the better. Dressings like this can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, ( though I doubt you’ll have any left!).
When cooking at home, it’s important to follow safe food practices to avoid making yourself or other sick. Salad dressings like this roasted garlic dressing, obviously do not contain any preservatives as store bought brands would. This is a good thing, but because it does not contain any after artificial preservatives it is important to understand how the ingredients act as a natural preservative. So here’s a really quick rundown:
“Vinegar is an acid, and bacteria which grow in food generally speaking don’t like acidic things. Roasting the garlic also helps destroy any potential bacteria that the garlic may have been contaminated with (not to mention that garlic itself has some antimicrobial properties). Finally, storing the finished dressing in a cold fridge in between uses, ensures that any bacteria that may be present, does not have the warm temperatures required to grow.”
- 2 whole bulbs garlic
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Pre-heat your oven to 325F.
- Slice the tops of the bulbs, place the tops and the rest of the bulb in a pan with some herbs, black peppercorns and olive oil. Drizzle the oil over the bulbs of garlic so that the oil can seep in between the cloves.
- Cover the pan with a lid if you have one or cover it with tinfoil. Place in a pre-heated 325F oven and roast for about one hour.
- After removing the roasted garlic from the oven, let it cool to room temperature.
- Squeeze the now soft cloves out of their skin, and into a blender or food processor.
- Add the rest of the dressing ingredients and blitz or puree until smooth. Taste and re-season the roasted garlic dressing with some salt and a pinch of sugar if it's to tart for your liking.
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