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Folklore and mystery surrounds the garlic bulb. From its fabled ability to ward off vampires, to its suggested medicinal qualities as an antibiotic, circulatory and coronary benefit and possible cancer fighting ability, this little pungent vegetable is a fascination for many. Raw, chopped sautéed or added to salad dressing or sauces, garlic can also be sweet and delicious all on its own, baked or roasted. Storing and keeping roasted garlic, however, doesn't have to remain a mystery.

Storing with Oil

Squeeze roasted garlic cloves from skin encasements into a small bowl.

Measure the olive oil. You will need one part oil to every two-parts garlic. For example, 12 garlic heads produce about 1 cup mashed garlic pulp, which requires 1/2 cup olive oil.

Mash the pulp with half of the oil using the back side of a fork.

Top off with remaining oil.

Store the roasted garlic in the airtight sealed container in the refrigerator up to three weeks.

Storing with Butter

Mix the mashed pulp (without the olive oil) with a stick of softened butter.

Add other spices to the mixture if desired. Basil, tarragon or oregano are good choices.

Roll the garlic butter mixture into a log.

Seal the log in plastic wrap and freeze.

Slice from the garlic butter log as needed. This can be cut and used as a spread on crackers, bread or potatoes. For added flavor, spread on cooked meats and fish. Or toss with vegetables, pasta or rice.

Warning

Beware of botulism. The Center for Disease Control states there is an average 110 cases of botulism reported each year in the United States, 25 percent of which are foodborne. The sulfuric nature of garlic sitting in oxygen-free oil provides the perfect breeding ground for this potentially deadly bacterium. Never store garlic and oil at room temperature. Store refrigerated up to three weeks. Frozen garlic butter can be stored for up to three months.

About the Author

Laurie Carpenter

A 35-year child care specialist, Laurie Carpenter’s first writing involved scripts for a national award-winning cable program on child care issues. From cradle to grave, she worked for a historical cemetery, handling public relations and historical pieces for newspaper publication. Working towards her master’s degree in education, Carpenter also completed a certificate of journalism program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.