Roasted Elephant Garlic

Ever seen Elephant Garlic?  Sadly for us gardeners it doesn’t actually look like an elephant, it’s the size of the cloves the name refers to. It is truly monstrous.

I’m reliably informed it’s part of the Leek family, but it grows, looks and tastes like garlic. Garlic lovers, and I’m certainly one should look out for these beauties. And if you do grow some it produces the most beautiful Allium flowers, those lovely mauve coloured balls. Oh, and it’s tall growing, approximately 5 ft. I planted this years crop in a flower border, and sat back on sunny days and watched as the bees and butterflies gathered around them.


A recipe for garlic lovers – Roasted Garlic

The best way to eat these gems is to roast them, separate out the cloves, leave the skins on and then put them in an oven dish with some olive oil and roast for about 40 minutes.

To eat, simply peel the skins off. As with any garlic that is roasted, it takes on a sweet but deeper flavour. You can eat them alongside other roasted vegetables, in with pasta, or spread some on a piece of toasted bread.

And for comparison purposes, here’s a bulb of elephant garlic alongside a standard bulb of garlic. You get the picture?!


  • I had no idea their flower was so pretty 🙂 Going to try to plant some garlic this Autumn! Maybe I can find this variety. Thank you for sharing!

  • ha ha, well done! we just dug our garlic but it was disappointing, although no Russian or Elephant garlic, which is so sweet and mild!

    • Yessssssssssssss!
      They do grow from seed, but I belive it’s a slow process. If you grow your own garlic (as you do!) some will develop “bulbils” around the top of the main bulb, you can store, then plant these out, but those take a year or two.

  • Ah! Someone with hands-on experience! I’ve heard that elephant garlic is more mild than the smaller varieties of garlic. (That’s why I’ve never bought a bulb.) Have you found this to be true? Regardless, smart idea using them as a border flower and I can see where roasting these larger cloves would be great!

    • 🙂 It is milder than standard garlic, but still nice and garlicy. and as you say with the cloves being so large they roast beautifully, and aren’t so fidly to peel !

  • My Elephant Garlic is just starting to send up flower spikes. These are a much anticipatd, short-lived treat every year. Harvest the stems and unopened flowers and saute them in a dab of butter. A lot like young Asparagus, but tastier. Very delicious!

    I’ve never had the flowers produce viable seed, so this seems a better use of them 😉

    • That’s a great tip, thank you! I’ve used the “scapes” from new season green garlic before and they are delicious. But I hadn’t thought about using the flowers other than for decoration. here’s to my next season garlic!

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