I could give you some background on his comical produce identifying history, like the time he complimented the grilled peaches, that were in fact butternut squash — but, let’s just get to what he does at the market, shall we?
This past Sunday, after he got home from the market, I saw him looking rather curiously at a very large garlic clove. After peeling it, he looked even more stumped. When I asked if he meant to get Elephant garlic, he said, “oh, is that what’s going on here?”
Grilled garlic is a super tasty, unique garnish or condiment for so many dishes. I love topping meat stews with it, and it’s divine in salads, pastas and over steak or chicken.
Since the cloves are so big, it’s easy to grill them, adding a wonderful smoky flavor. And I love fresh herbs with garlic, so I grabbed the thyme, and a beautiful bundle of oregano — that my husband (of course) thought was sage.
Interestingly, Elephant garlic isn’t really true garlic — it’s actually a variety of leek. The cloves are about four times as big as those in a typical head of garlic, and though more mild, the flavor is more similar to garlic than to a leek.
Herb-Grilled Elephant Garlic Recipe
- 1 head Elephant garlic
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cut the root end off each of the garlic cloves, and then peel them.
- Lay each clove on its flattest side, and then use a very sharp knife to thinly cut them into approximately ⅛-inch thick slices.
- Preheat a stove-top grill.
- In a small bowl, toss the garlic slices with the oil, herbs and sugar. Then spread them out evenly on a large plate, and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.
- Place the garlic slices on the grill once it's very hot. You should hear a sizzling sound — if you don’t, it’s not hot enough yet. Wait for the sizzle! Grill until just long enough to mark the bottom of the slices, about 2 minutes. (Don't let them to dark or they'll be bitter.) Carefully flip them over and grill the other side for about 2 more minutes -- again, just to mark them.
- Remove the garlic from the grill and let it cool to room temperature. (Store in a tightly sealed container for up to 4 days until you're ready to use.)