For me, garlic is just one of those magic things that we use in the kitchen that ends up in nearly everything you ever make (savoury at least). Even if you can’t taste it at all, it’s probably there somewhere, humming in the background of your palette. Only when it’s not there, and your food is missing some je ne sais quoi do you actually notice its absence. It’s this mellow, but powerful, flavour that you get from confit garlic.
While fresh garlic can sometimes impart harsh, even fiery, flavours in some situations, confit garlic does nothing of the sort. By confiting the garlic, an old French technique of preserving in fat, all of the ‘raw-ness’ is removed, only leaving a super tender and sweet vegetable ready for anything. You also get some great garlic oil by accident, perfect!
There’s only one thing you need to be wary of when making and using, confit garlic, botulism. Botulism loves a non-acidic, anaerobic and warm environment. As we’re essentially providing the bacteria with two of the things it loves (garlic is a relatively low-acid vegetable and storing in oil means that there’s no oxygen), we need to precautions. Therefore, always make sure your finished confit garlic is stored in the refrigerator in a tight-sealing jar, and always use a freshly cleaned spoon to remove the tasty cloves. As long as you take steps to reduce contamination you shouldn’t worry, although you should only keep it for about a month (if it even lasts that long).
By confiting garlic, you remove any of the harsh notes that can sometimes overpour your dishes. Confit garlic has a deep and mellow flavour and is super soft, so you can spread it on anything!
- 2 bulbs garlic
- 100 mL olive oil
Peel all of the garlic and trim the root end of each clove.
Place the garlic into a small saucepan with enough olive oil to cover all of the cloves.
Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat as far as possible so that only a few bubbles are emerging. You want to keep the heat low enough that the garlic does not brown during the cooking.
Remove the garlic and oil to a very clean glass jar, ensuring that the oil covers the garlic. Allow to cool, before storing in the refrigerator for up to a month. When using the garlic, only use a freshly cleaned spoon to reduce the chance of contamination.