Confit cooking is a method of preservation in which items are slowly cooked in fat or oil at a very low temperature, rendering tender, caramelized morsels of richly flavored food. While the term is often tied to its original case study, the duck, you can confit mostly anything. From poultry to alliums, carrots, tomatoes, and even plums, the slow cooking method elongates the life of its subject while also resulting in undeniably delectable bites. Confitting in olive oil rather than animal fat such as duck also yields a heart healthy and lighter final product.
One of the best (and simplest) things you can confit is garlic. Used more frequently in Southern Italy than Northern, garlic lends a delicious spicy kick when fresh and gives a sweet and unctuous depth of flavor when cooked. When used correctly, it adds great value to the overall dish. Bringing out its sweeter, nuttier characteristics, confitting the illustrious allium in olive oil not only delivers an abundance of caramelly garlic to use however you please, but also infuses the olive oil with garlic’s spicier and fresher qualities.
We know there's a lot of peeling that needs to happen for this recipe, but we promise it’s worth it. Throw on your favorite podcast, playlist, or show and mindlessly peel away. Once you’ve tucked the garlic in to slowly soften in hot olive oil, your house will begin to fill with that intoxicatingly familiar smell and it will all be worth it. Store the confitted garlic in a jar covered with oil with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate.
HOW TO USE IT
- Spread the softened garlic onto crusty bread and eat as is or with a shaving of cured meat
- Smash a clove and whisk it into dressing, or use the infused oil for your dressing
- Toss a clove or two into homemade hummus, roasted red pepper dip, or baba ganoush
- Whisk into yogurt with lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and fresh herbs as a sauce for chicken, lamb, or fish
- Marinate olives in the infused oil
- Spread a few cloves of garlic onto the bread for your sandwich
- Smash and serve as a side to roasted lamb, lamb chops, or grilled steak
- Whisked into ricotta with a drizzle of honey and lemon for a dip
▢ 4 garlic heads
▢ Enough Extra Virgin Olive Oil to cover the garlic fully (1-2 cups)
▢ 1 sprig rosemary
▢ 1 ribbon of orange zest
▢ 1 tsp black peppercorns
- Preheat your oven to 225 °F.
- Peel 4 heads of garlic. To make this go a little faster, you can gently crush each clove under the flat side of your knife. This will help to loosen the skin from the clove.
- Add the peeled garlic to a 8 x 8 baking dish and cover with good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add 1 ribbon of orange zest, 1 tsp black peppercorns, and 1 sprig of rosemary. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 2 hours.
- Check on your garlic by removing the dish from the oven and uncovering it. With a fork, lift one garlic clove from the oil and gently press on it. If it is soft, your garlic is done. If it is still firm, re-cover and place in the oven for another 30 mins - 1 hour. The garlic is finished when it is soft.
- Once it has cooked to your liking, remove it from the oven, uncover and cool completely.
- Store covered in the cooking oil in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.