What is garlic confit?
The term confit is used to describe anything that has been cooked slowly into a rich, succulent texture. To confit garlic, the cloves are very gently poached in oil, transforming them into the most delicate, sweet and tender morsels. A dream!
The confit cloves can be used to flavor soups, sauces, pastas, vinaigrettes, sandwiches, or marinades — or in these super-easy garlic mashed potatoes. For a quick but sublime nibble, spread them on a crusty slice of bread — the most delicious garlic spread you’ll ever taste.
Olive oil is my preferred oil to confit garlic, but of course you can use others. I like to use extra virgin olive oil: since the temperature of the oil doesn’t get too high, its natural flavor is preserved and then slowly imbued with the delicate garlic flavor as the cloves cook.
Bonus: After making your confit, you’ll also end up with garlic-infused oil!
And the confited garlic is not the only thing that will add zing to your recipes. Every drop of the infused oil will, too. Use the garlic olive oil in salad dressings and marinades, drizzle it on veggies, or dip some bread in it.
Whichever way you use your garlic confit, you’ll be astounded by its subtle yet rich flavor. I can only hope that it’ll become a favorite pantry item in your household too.
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makes 2 1/2 cups (garlic with oil)
active time: 30 min
- 2 cups (10 oz) (285 g) unpeeled garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 1 quart saucepan
- heat diffuser
- Step 1: Place half the unpeeled garlic cloves in a large stainless steel bowl. (Overcrowding the cloves in the bowl will bruise them, so do this process in two batches.) Top with another stainless steel bowl, placing it upside-down over the first bowl. Hold the two bowls together tightly and shake vigorously for 10 to 15 seconds. As you shake the cloves, the skins will loosen and the cloves will end up peeled. Remove the skinless cloves from the bowl. If a few still have their skins on, shake them for a few more seconds. Repeat with the balance of the unpeeled garlic cloves. Once all the garlic is peeled, trim off the root end of each clove and set aside.
- Step 2: Place the garlic cloves in a 1-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the oil. (The oil should cover the cloves by 1/2″. You may need a bit more or less oil, depending on the size of the pan you use.) Place a heat diffuser over your burner and place the pan on top of the heat diffuser. (The heat diffuser will help achieve and maintain a low temperature – an essential tool, especially if you have a professional stove like a Viking or Wolf.) Heat over medium heat until it reaches between 200°F (93°C) and 210°F (99°C). Small bubbles will form and rise to the surface, but make sure the oil never comes to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain the temperature between 200°F (93°C) and 210°F (99°C) and slow-simmer the garlic for about 1 hour until the cloves are completely tender and look very pale-golden. Remove pan from heat and let cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 month.
- Cook’s note: Bring garlic confit to room temperature before using, as the oil will firm up when refrigerated.