Garlic Dressing

Continuing the resolution theme, I bring you a delicious salad dressing. Bryan and I make a salad every night as part of our dinner. He is in charge of washing greens and I usually throw together a quick vinaigrette. It is one of the few kitchen constants at our place, and so of course we sometimes get bored and feel the need to mix it up. Mixing it up usually means a variation on the vinaigrette—wild, I know. I am happy to have found this wildly exciting garlic dressing in Andrew Carmellini’s Urban Italian.

The dressing is essentially a vinaigrette with roasted garlic thrown in, but it is totally delicious and worth trying. Roasted garlic is something that I rarely make, but when I do I wonder why I don’t make it all of the time. It is so good! If you decide to give this recipe a go, I recommend roasting a few extra heads of garlic which you can use in a variety of applications (spread on a baguette or sandwich, toss with pasta, etc.) This sharp vinaigrette is good on greens with a sprinkle of Parmesan, but would also be nice tossed with grilled vegetables. It will keep for a few days in the fridge.

Garlic Dressing (recipe adapted (just barely)from Urban Italian by Andrew Carmellini)

For the roasted garlic:

  • 2 heads garlic
  • 2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • a pinch of kosher salt or sea salt
  • a pinch of coarse-ground black pepper (1 crack of the pepper mill)

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil (or corn oil)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably on the branch (Sicilian or Calabrian) (I obviously just used the jar or oregano)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, plus another dash
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon sugar


To roast the garlic:

Preheat the oven to 450°.

Cut across the top of each head of garlic to expose some of the garlic flesh.

Place each garlic head cut-side up on a piece of tinfoil big enough to easily wrap it, about 3 inches by 3 inches. Sprinkle the garlic with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Wrap the garlic up in the foil, making a Hershey’s-Kiss shape.

Bake on a baking tray on the center rack in the oven until the cloves are soft and golden brown, about I hour. Cool the garlic in the fridge or freezer until it’s cool to the touch. (The garlic can hold in the fridge for up to 3 days at this stage.)

To prepare the dressing:

Pick up each garlic head by the bottom and squeeze the meat into a fine sieve. With the back of a spoon, press the meat of the garlic through the sieve to get as much through as possible. Be sure to scoop the remnants from the underside of the sieve into the bowl. Discard the skins.

Add the dressing ingredients and 2 tablespoons of water to the bowl, whisking as you go to combine. When all the ingredients are in the bowl, whisk again to make sure the flavors are incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasonings and sweetness.

The dressing will hold in the fridge for up to a week.

18 comments to “Garlic Dressing”

  1. I love roasted garlic. It makes everything special. I have a rock star pear dressing that I’ll be posting on soon. Can’t wait to add this one to my list.

  2. Sounds wonderful. I actually have started roasting several heads of garlic at once and then freezing portions to use another time.

  3. nancy sorensen says:

    January 12th, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I am heading to the bowl of garlic heads right now. How delicious! Grateful for this simple inspiration. Thanks!

  4. Not exactly the same as ‘fresh’, but when we would close the restaurant for vacation, occasionally we’d have a large container of pre-peeled garlic to use up.

    I always put it in a roasting pan with oil, maybe some thyme sprigs, salt and pepper, then covered with foil and roasted it.

    Once roasted, it can be portioned into ice cube trays and frozen, oil with it or reserved for making dressings or sauteeing.

    It’s easy to make in bulk this way and there’s no reason not to have it on hand!

  5. I love roasted garlic! This dressing sounds like a nice change up from the usual vinaigrette (and I have the book). I look forward to trying it.

  6. Nice ideas everyone! Freezing is smart and I will definitely do that next time I roast some garlic.

  7. Tim! This sounds delicious! I’m going to use it on a salad for my housewarming party next weekend. Miss you guys :)

  8. This dressing looks great! I think I am going to make it this weekend. When I roast garlic, I fill a whole roasting pan with bulbs of garlic, maybe 20 or so. They keep whole, roasted, tossed in a big ziploc in the freezer forever. You just pop one in the microwave for 30 seconds and it comes out as though you just took it out of the oven. I put roasted garlic in all sorts of things now that it doesn’t take hours of planning! The best part is that you can grab a cheese from fridge, some roasted garlic from the freezer and a loaf of bread and you are ready for any party you get invited to. You look like a star!

  9. Stumptown Savory (blog) has a great recipe for garlic confit, which while not quite as roasty-flavored, would be terrific in this dressing as well as a multitude of other things. This dressing sounds like it would be a fabulous meat marinade as well. I forget that there are even commercially available salad dressings, as I’ve avoided that isle for years by making our own, too. I’ve never seen dried oregano on the stick sold, but wil try that with next year’s harvest.

  10. That roasted garlic is beautiful. So nice & caramelized. I also get in a rut making the same old vinaigrette. Will have to try this recipe. I love roasted garlic on a crusty baguette.

  11. I’m definitely going to try this. I miss eating salads often and should get back into the habit.

  12. I, too, am on a salad kick, go figure! Definitely trying this.

  13. Previous commenter, Kasha, had a great idea with the frozen garlic cubes. I do the same with all the herbs left in my garden at the end of fall. I grind them all up in a pesto and fill ice cube trays. Due to the oil and grated cheesse in the cubes, they don’t freeze completety hard, so they can be easily mashed up in vinaigrettes. All winter long, my salads taste as if they have herbs fresh from the garden.

  14. Where did you get that cute little beaker?? (And the vinaigrette looks amazing, too : )

  15. Hi Nuala, it is indeed a little beaker. I got it at a science surplus store in Chicago. It also works well for milk when serving coffee or tea.

  16. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I made the it last night and really liked the way the roasted garlic blended into the dressing, infusing it with bold flavor. It reminds me how much more creative we can be with our salads and how a simple twist can really transform something ordinary into something fabulous.

  17. After reading this, now *I’m* wondering why I don’t roast garlic more often! This dressing sounds delicious!

  18. Made this dressing this weekend. It is divine! I’ve never eaten so much salad in one sitting. Thanks!

What do you think?