Caramelized Garlic

Garlic Bulbs, Cloves

Garlic Bulbs, Cloves

By Cat, Feb 2012 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

One of my fav restaurants here in Bigfork, The Swan River Inn, uses homemade caramelized garlic in their house salad, and it is delicious! (unfortunately, they are no longer open). So I can imagine how wonderful it would be on pizza! Caramelizing tames and enriches the garlic flavor, much like roasting, but the texture is different from roasted garlic.

I’ve since learned how to make this delectable delight. While this recipe is intended for use on pizza, it can also be used in a salad, as a garnish for steak or other meat dishes, or in casseroles like lasagna.

Caramelized Garlic

This recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine February 2012 issue recipe by Peter Reinhart (1), where he uses it on a white pizza; see Mushroom-Garlic Pizza for my adaptation of his recipe.

I grow my own garlic (most years it is my best crop), and this is a great way to use it. I make up a batch and keep it in the fridge for frequent use. I also save the flavored oil for braising veggies (especially good with kale), or for salad dressings.

Some garlic cloves are hard to peel and still remain intact. When I encounter a difficult one, I press down on it with the palm of my hand just until I hear it begin to crack; the peel begins to separate from the clove on its own and is much easier to peel.


  • 1 cup peeled garlic cloves ( 3 – 4 bulbs)
  • olive oil
  • small saucepan
  1. Peel garlic and place in saucepan. Pour enough olive oil over to cover them.
  2. Simmer over medium heat about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they become a rich dark golden brown on the outside – they develop what looks like a crust. Dont’ take them off the heat when they are only light brown.
  3. Remove from heat and let rest 15 minutes.
  4. Remove garlic with slotted spoon and transfer to plate lined with paper towels. When drained, transfer to a clean canning jar, with lid, for storage in the fridge. Transfer the oil to a separate jar with a tightly fitting lid and store in refrigerator, to use the garlic-flavored oil in other recipes.


  • Better Homes and Gardens Magazine February 2012 issue recipe by Peter Reinhart

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