You’ve probably seen the term “roasted garlic” used in tons of products, from traditional Italian roasted garlic pasta sauce to roasted garlic salsa. But what does it actually mean? Garlic is often used in cooked applications, so why is it sometimes roasted first? The answer is that roasting garlic brings out natural sweetness in it and mellows the overall bite, resulting in an almost nutty flavor. It’s a great option for kids, or for anyone else who likes a little garlic flavor but a little less punch.
So how might you go about using all those roasted garlic products, now that you know how tasty they can be? Here are three suggestions for roasted garlic salsa recipes even the kids in your house will love to have for dinner.
Three Creative Ways to Use Roasted Garlic Salsa
- Salsa as Pasta Sauce
We mentioned pasta sauce above, so we should also mention that salsa can actually be a great low-sugar substitute for jarred pasta sauce. Just toss cooked pasta (angel hair works well, though you could choose whatever you prefer) in a little extra virgin olive oil to coat, and then pour on a hearty amount of garlic salsa. While Mexican-Italian fusion might sound a little odd, the garlic flavor really ties the two cuisines together.
- Savory Crepes
You can use crepes –those thin French pancakes usually associated with breakfast and desserts — for a play on burritos. Once you’ve made your crepes (it’s actually surprisingly easy), fill them with some cooked chicken or steak, some shredded cabbage, and some salsa. If you want to get a little more protein in, you can swap the garlic salsa out for Southwestern salsa, which usually has black beans, though of course you’ll lose that mellow roasted garlic flavor.
- Diet Baked Potato
Here’s a surprising salsa nutrition fact: A serving of salsa typically has only 10 to 20 calories in it. That makes it an easy way to spice up potatoes without loading on the fat and salt most potato toppings contain. Potatoes themselves are quite healthy as long as they’re baked instead of fried (look it up, and you’ll see how high in vitamin C and magnesium they are). Then you can top them with salsa and a little low-fat cheese. If you really can’t sacrifice the creaminess of traditional potato toppings, try mixing salsa with some sour cream or, better yet, plain Greek yogurt.
Do you have any other recipes using salsa you’d like to share? What different types of salsa might you include? Join the discussion in the comments.