Garlic, From Ground to Grill to Freezer

My brother-in-law gives us garlic from his garden after it has cured. It’s a dirty mess when we get it, but easy to clean up with some kitchen shears and a tough vegetable brush. Sometimes I just keep the bulbs to use as needed, but this year I decided to roast them all on the grill and freeze the squeezed-out cloves in logs, like I do my parsley, so I could have that roasted garlic flavor on command. I used one of the seven bulbs for some terrific cilantro pesto (coming in the next post) and divided the other six among three plastic storage bags. I think it’s common for me to use at least a tablespoon of garlic in a lot of recipes, so, no, it won’t last a really long time, but it will be nice to have the roasted garlic on hand.

  1. Trim the stems to about 1/2 inch, and the roots to a little less.
  2. Peel off one layer of the papery skin, and the bulb is probably clean there. Use a stiff vegetable brush for any dirt that won’t easily come off, but a little won’t hurt anything.
  3. Use the vegetable brush to knock out any clods of dirt in the roots.
  4. At this point, you can store them in your pantry to use.

For roasting on the grill:

  1. Cut about 1/2-3/4 inch off the top of each bulb so that the top of each clove has been cut off. This makes it possible to squeeze out the roasted garlic instead of having to peel it out. I also roast the tops. If I am roasting a single bulb in a foil pouch, I put the top back on the bulb after adding oil.
  2. Place bulbs on a metal pan—mine was a half sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and cover with foil.
  3. Place covered pan on grill away from coals, using indirect heat. On my grill, that was in the center, and I roasted some jalapeños and onions (for that pesto) over the direct heat.
  4. Roast with the lid closed until soft. For me, that was about 45 minutes at medium heat (about 350°)



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