Once you try our easy Garlic Confit recipe, you’ll be wondering “where have you been all my life?”
Whole garlic cloves slow roast in olive oil to become rich and creamy. Use them whole in pastas or salads, or mash them with oil for a spread so delectable that you’ll be using it on everything.
What is Confit?
Confit is a culinary term that refers to a method of preserving food by cooking it slowly over a long period in a substance for both preservation and flavor. The term comes from the French word “confire,” originally meaning “to preserve.”
The most common form of confit is meat, typically duck, goose, or pork, cooked and preserved in its own rendered fat. However, the technique can also apply to fruits, which are cooked in sugar syrup, and vegetables, such as garlic or tomatoes, cooked slowly in oil.
In the case of garlic confit, whole cloves cook in oil at a low temperature until they are deliciously tender and mellow in flavor. The process not only preserves the garlic, but also infuses the oil with a gentle, sweet garlic essence that can be used to enhance a variety of dishes.
- Garlic – The star of the show. We use pre-peeled garlic for convenience, but only do so if the cloves look very fresh. If you can’t find nice looking peeled garlic, add some extra time to the prep for peeling them yourself.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – There are so few ingredients here that you don’t want to skimp on quality.
- Flavor Enhancers – For this recipe we are using fresh rosemary, but you can get creative. See the variations below for more ideas.
How to Make Garlic Confit
1. Prep: If your garlic is not pre-peeled, go ahead and do so. Arrange garlic cloves in the bottom of the baking dish. Add herbs or other flavor enhancers, then top with olive oil.
2. Cook: In an oven preheated to 250 degrees, bake the confit for about 1.5-2 hours, or until garlic is soft and buttery.
- Herb Medley: Instead of just rosemary, create a bouquet garni with thyme, oregano, and sage, which will complement the garlic with a full spectrum of herbaceous notes.
- Heat Wave: If you crave a little heat, a few dried chili peppers can be added to the oil, giving the confit a spicy undertone that is fantastic in robust sauces or spreads.
- Sweet Balsamic Glaze: After the confit is done, drizzle a bit of reduced balsamic over the cloves for a sweet and tangy finish that could elevate a simple bruschetta or cheese plate.
- Citrus Spark: Add the zest of a lemon or orange to the oil before baking to infuse the confit with a bright, citrusy aroma. It pairs wonderfully with the rosemary.
Once fully cooled, transfer the garlic confit to an airtight container, such as a sealed mason jar.
Some choose to keep it at room temperature. However, due to the risk of botulism, we do not recommend this. Instead, keep it in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks.
If the oil solidifies a bit in the fridge, just take out what you are going to use and allow it to come to room temperature for 15-20 minutes before enjoying.
For longer storage, garlic confit can be frozen. Freeze in small portions, perhaps in an ice cube tray, so you can easily thaw only what you need. It can last several months in the freezer.
Let me tell you, this is one incredibly versatile recipe. Here are some ideas:
- Serve it up just as is as part of a Mezze Platter.
- Mash the garlic and oil together to make a spread for crackers, bread, sandwiches or wraps. Or, use it as a flavor base for Flatbreads.
- Toss some of the cloves into pastas. It makes a great addition to our Mediterranean Pasta or a variety of Pasta Salads.
- Use the oil for sautéing vegetables, or drizzling on roasted veggies.
- Stir the mashed cloves into soups or even mashed potatoes for a big flavor boost.
Have some more ideas? Be sure to share them in the comment section below!
So there you have it folks, our easy and versatile garlic confit. Whip up a batch this week, and start getting creative with different ways to use it.
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Garlic Confit, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
- 1.5 cups whole peeled garlic cloves (about 3-4 heads)
- 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1.5 cups extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- Place peeled garlic cloves in a 9x12 inch baking dish. Top with rosemary, and drizzle olive oil all over. Garlic should be almost entirely submerged.
- Place baking dish in oven and bake for 1.5-2 hours, until garlic is completely softened.
- I use packaged, pre-peeled garlic. Prep time is based on this. If you are using whole garlic and peeling the cloves, take note that the prep time will be longer.
- If you prefer more caramelization for more of a roasted garlic flavor, increase cooking time to allow it to brown up a bit.
- Feel free to experiment with different herbs and seasonings. Thyme also goes great here. Sometimes we add some crushed red pepper for little spice factor.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Nutrition InformationYield 24 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 127Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 0mgSodium 1mgCarbohydrates 2gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 0g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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