Roasted Garlic Side Sauce

Garlic. The only thing that might be better than lots of garlic on/in a dish is lots of roasted garlic on/in a dish.

roasted garlic side sauce

In my ongoing quest to see just how many different sauces I can come up within a single week… (see: Creamy Jalapeno Sauce and Habanero Side Sauce) I’ve added another, Roasted Garlic Side Sauce.

cast iron garlic roaster
I found this cast iron roaster years back. I do not use it often, but when I do, the kitchen smells like heaven.

So a bit of “true confession” time, I originally planned on using just roasted garlic for this, but I over cooked the garlic in my cast iron roaster and burned the bottoms of most of those wonderful cloves you see here. So that reduced my overall amount of garlic by about 25%. So I just went with it, and added some more fresh garlic. And… I will likely try this again but with 100% roasted garlic and see what the difference is. Because this, like pretty much all my cooking, is a work-in-progress.

If you don’t have a nice garlic roaster, just loosely wrap the cloves up in foil, or use an oven safe pan with a lid or cover with foil.

roasted garlic
You would never know from this photo that those cloves are all charred on the bottom. And unfortunately, not in a good way.

To try and keep consistency, this recipe will be in weights, but I’ll include some notes for approximate volumes as well. Like the garlic, I used about two and a half bulbs that were a touch bigger than golf balls. If you use smaller ones or larger ones, adjust accordingly. Likewise, the onion I used was about baseball sized, maybe slightly smaller. If you have a softball sized one, well maybe start with 1/4 and go from there.

roasted garlic and onion

Speaking of onions, I really wanted to use a sweet onion. Vidalia would have been my first choice. But those are not in season and the store was out of sweet onions in general. Use what you have, and if you get you hands on Vidalia, let me know how it turned out so I can be jealous.

in the blender
everything but the oil in the blender…

When it comes to making this, there is a bit of chopping, a bit of roasting, but mostly just blending. On the roasting side, because my two cloves wouldn’t really fit well in the roaster, at least not flat, I opted to peel the garlic first. You could just trim, oil and roast in the peels. I believe it would add something to the flavor, but… I dunno, I think this way overall was easier. Yes, peeling garlic can be a pain, but I just used the method where I pulled about the cloves, whacked them with the flat of my blade and it went pretty quick. I know it just squeezes out of the skins after roasting, but I think I would have lost a lot of the garlic that way.

Ok, fine. I ended up losing a bunch to burning anyways, but I didn’t know that before hand.

I roasted mine at 400F for about 45 minutes. I think 30 would have been enough, and will likely adjust things as such next time. The thyme was a last-minute because I have lots of it, addition. It is entirely optional. Tho I may also play with using different herbs in this step in the future.

starting to blend
getting it all nice and smooth

On the vinegar, I wanted to try a bit of apple cider on this, but rather than just adding it to the white, I used a substitution trick. Using a 1 cup measuring cup, I put in 3 Tbsp of the apple cider vinegar, then I filled it the rest of the way up to the 1/2 cup line with the distilled white vinegar. I think it worked out nicely. You could, of course, just use all one vinegar or the other.

Rather than using the immersion blender in a jar, I used the “smoothie” attachment for my Ninja blender. Any “bullet” style blender should work fine for this as well. I put everything but the oil in there and blended until smooth, it took maybe 30 seconds. Of course regular blenders or food processors will work just fine. Then I added the oil before blending again for probably 90 seconds or more to really make sure the oil was emulsified in there. Because the amount of oil is on the lower side, I don’t think I’ll have to worry much about it separating.

more blending
emulsification achieved

I’m sure I’ll find a way to use this all up before that happens.

Initially, I had maybe half the amount of salt in there. I decided it needed a bit more, but it may not be a bad idea to hold some back and taste your batch first. Same with the pepper.

I really like how it turned out, I think the adding in some fresh garlic added a nice garlicky bite, without totally overpowering the roasted garlic flavor. But, that said, I still feel like this could maybe use a lil something-something. I’m just not sure what that something is yet. Again, a work-in-progress.

After a bit of tasting with some of my fresh bread, I whipped up some fresh noodles (#kitchenhack, they were strips cut from egg roll wrappers) to go with the mushrooms I’d already sauteed, and then added some of the garlic sauce and a pat of butter. I could definiately see using this on a pasta dish again in the near future.

pasta with garlic sauce and shrooms

This may be the last sauce I try to create in for a bit. I’ve got plenty to use up, which I have to do so I can try making them again and seeing if I can do better. If you try any of these and make your own tweeks, please leave a comment to share how they turned out. Or if you do this right according to the recipe, let me know what you thought and if there’s anything you’d like to try differently next time.

Till then!

roasted garlic side sauce

Roasted Garlic Side Sauce

A blend of roasted and fresh garlic with onion that you can use as a dip, condiment, or add to sauces used on a variety of dishes.


  • 125 g garlic cloves peeled, divided (about 3/4 cup or 2-1/2 bulbs worth)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt divided
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme optional
  • 100 g yellow onion chopped (about 1/2 baseball-sized onion)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar minus 3 tbsp
  • 1/4 cup canola oil


  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Toss about 100g of the garlic with the olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and all the thyme
  • Loosely wrap in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, until soft and browned all over
  • Once done, put all the garlic, the onion, remaining salt and pepper in the work bowl of blender or food processor
  • In a 1 cup measuring cup, add 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, then fill to 1/2 cup line with distilled white vinegar
  • Add to garlic/onion mixture and blend until smooth
  • Add oil and blend until emulsified
  • Add additional salt/pepper to taste
  • Makes about 12 oz, store in the refrigerator

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