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Switch Up Your Roasted Garlic Routine And Throw It On The Grill

roasted garlic with thyme
roasted garlic with thyme - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Garlic is truly iconic. As a cross-cultural cooking staple that has been prominently featured in a vast array of dishes for millennia, this onion-adjacent bulb vegetable is typically known for its pungent and spicy flavor profile and strong, bold aroma and is found nearly everywhere. Incorporating garlic into your meal always adds a flavorful punch, but you can enhance its richness by roasting it first.

Roasting garlic mellows its natural taste, delivering a deep, robust, nutty, and slightly sweet flavor profile that adds a warm essence to your dish. However, there's no strict rule that you must roast it in your oven — for an enjoyable and unexpected twist, try throwing the garlic on your grill at your next cookout. Not only will this method bring out your garlic's rich flavor and soften its texture, but it'll allow you to achieve decadently caramelized cloves, which can be transformed into a paste and spread over bread and meats, blended into soups and dips, or — dare we say — eaten alone.

Read more: 11 Tips For Keeping Your Grill Shiny And Clean

Roasting Your Garlic On The Grill

roasted garlic on cutting board
roasted garlic on cutting board - Rudisill/Getty Images

First, select the type of garlic you want to roast on your grill — softneck or hardneck. Softneck, commonly found in grocery stores, has a relatively mild flavor and a long shelf life. In contrast, hardneck varieties have a shorter shelf life (about three to four months) but offer more complex flavors, often reflecting the regional soil's characteristics. Spanish Roja (also known as standard purple stripe), a hardneck variety, is particularly favored for roasting,  due to the appealing sweetness it develops.

Regardless of the garlic type you choose, begin by slicing off the top of the bulb to expose the inner cloves, and drizzling them with olive oil. You may also sprinkle some sea salt over the cloves to enhance the flavor. Next, wrap the bulbs in foil to prevent them from burning and drying out on the grill. Place the foil-wrapped garlic bulbs on indirect heat (with charcoal on one side, or the burner lit on one side for gas grills) and roast for approximately 40 minutes. Once done, the garlic will be tender enough to squeeze out the cloves for use. Store any leftover garlic in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, submerged in olive oil, in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Delicious Uses For Your Roasted Garlic

bowl of hummus with garlic cloves on top
bowl of hummus with garlic cloves on top - Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

Roasted garlic can be incorporated into numerous recipes to add a deep, nuanced flavor. For a seriously tasty garlic hummus, blend two large heads of roasted garlic (or more, according to your taste) with chickpeas, tahini, and lemon juice. This results in a hummus with a slightly sweeter flavor profile. Consider topping the hummus with a few roasted cloves, serving it with pita bread or raw vegetables, and savoring the enhanced flavor.

If you're in the mood for a more substantial dish, try making a batch of roasted garlic mashed potatoes. They're an excellent accompaniment to your favorite meatloaf or roast chicken. Just combine your roasted garlic cloves with potatoes, milk, and butter in a mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer until smooth.

If garlic bread is your thing — and how could it not be? — roasted garlic offers a way to elevate this classic favorite. Mash four heads of roasted garlic and mix them with four tablespoons of unsalted butter and a quarter teaspoon of sea salt until well combined. Spread this roasted garlic butter over your choice of crusty bread, and bake for five to 12 minutes. You can prepare the roasted garlic up to three days ahead, storing it in the refrigerator until needed. This take on garlic bread could become a new addictive favorite.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.