Herb-Grilled Elephant Garlic Recipe

Herb Grilled Elephant GarlicWhen my husband goes to the Farmer’s Market, he inevitably comes home with a handful of produce that’s never quite what he’s expecting it to be.  It’s hilarious.

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?

Herb-Grilled Elephant Garlic 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?”

Herb-Grilled Elephant Garlic After deciding it was too daunting for him to use, I took it over and made this awesomely, delicious recipe.  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 GarlicEnjoy!

Herb-Grilled Elephant Garlic Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: Makes about ½ cup
  • 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
  1. Cut the root end off each of the garlic cloves, and then peel them.
  2. Lay each clove on its flattest side, and then use a very sharp knife to thinly cut them into approximately ⅛-inch thick slices.
  3. Preheat a stove-top grill.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.)
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  1. says

    Roll the elephant garlic season – here at the bottom of the world we have a few months before the garlic season – on our Farmers’ Market stallholders has this lovely garlic in the spring – will put this away until then.

  2. says

    What a great recipe for the Father’s Day grilling menu we have planned! I know your husband adored the “treatment” you gave the Elephant garlic, just lush with flavor!

  3. says

    yum – I need to whip out the Grill Pan to make these (after I successfully identify them at the Farmer’s Market). Love these, hope they get a bit of that sweet flavor that I love so much from roasted garlic (even if they are as much leek as garlic).


  4. valentina says

    Hi Dana — this is great! Thanks for visiting my site and trying the recipe — and for sharing it with your readers. 🙂

  5. JPWalton says

    I find elephant garlic really (REALLY) easy to grow here in the NW. I cut the buds before they flower and stir fry them in olive oil. Yum. The cloves get much bigger than those that flower. I grow for food – my husband likes the big purple flower. They also seem to be good as bug and deer repellant…

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