Honeyed Garlic Sauce

November 11, 2021
3 Ratings
Photo by Carolina Gelen
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

This savory-sweet, honey-smooched roasted garlic sauce will become a favorite in your fridge. It’s mostly hands-off and hugely versatile. Put it toward just about anything you can think of: roasted potatoes (like the photo above), all sorts of sandwiches (especially avocado toast), desk lunch salads (hearty kale would be great), raw vegetables (perfect for an easy holiday appetizer), crispy chicken wings (check out this Genius broiler method for inspiration), and the list goes on. Roasting the garlic concentrates its flavor and sweetness—and makes your kitchen smell incredible. Soy sauce adds wonderful umami. And a generous amount of cracked black pepper and ground cayenne keep things from being too sweet. When it comes to the oil, consider how you’re using the dressing first. Using ½ cup of olive oil will yield a distinctly olive-oily dressing. If you’d like the oil to be less noticeable, use a mix of olive oil and neutral oil (like canola, vegetable, or grapeseed). Or use all neutral oil for more pronounced garlicky goodness. The vanilla extract might seem like an unexpected addition to a savory sauce—but just try it. It emphasizes the sweetness of the roasted garlic and adds lots of warmth to a cold-weather dinner. —Carolina Gelen

What You'll Need
  • 4 medium garlic heads, top third cut off
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil (such as canola or vegetable)
  • 1/2 cup mild olive oil (or ¼ cup olive oil plus ¼ cup neutral oil, or ½ cup neutral oil)
  • 1/4 cup water, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 3/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, see Author Notes)
  1. Heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Place the garlic heads, cut sides facing up, on a large sheet of foil. Drizzle each with 1 tablespoon of neutral oil, then tightly wrap in the foil. Roast for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the cloves are golden brown and jammy. Let cool slightly, until you can touch the cloves.
  3. Squeeze the garlic cloves into a blender or food processor. Add all the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Taste and add more salt, lemon juice, or water if needed until the flavor is where you want it and the consistency is pourable.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

Carolina is a resident at Food52. She's also one of the hosts of Choose Your Own Recipe Adventure, our YouTube show where our Food52 readers pick the ingredients and techniques for a brand new recipe. Carolina recently immigrated to the U.S. from Transylvania, a place she spent most of her life. She continues to get inspired by the classic Romanian and Hungarian foods she was raised on, creating approachable, colorful, and fun recipes. For more cooking ideas and candid moments, check out her Instagram @carolinagelen.

1 Review

susan C. November 24, 2021
I just made as a versatile condiment to have in fridge for Thanksgiving. Followed directions but my husband says it’s bitter and my daughter says it tastes like it has an identity crisis with the garlic , honey, vanilla, soy sauce it doesn’t know what it is! I added additional salt and lemon as suggested. Any suggestions?