This Garlic Confit recipe is going to become your new pantry staple because it’s so easy and confited garlic is sooooo spectacular and versatile. You just need a few heads of garlic, your favourite spices and herbs, lots of olive oil and 30 minutes. The result is a scrumptious sort of sweet spreadable garlic that you can use in a thousand ways. As a bonus, you get garlic-infused oil!
Did you know about this technique to cook garlic? If not, this recipe will change your life. Confitting the garlic is such a simple process and turns its strong flavour into a delicate and soft flavour, with a touch of caramelisation even. If you are a #garliclover like me, you will fall in love with it.
What is Confit?
Confit is a cooking technique that consists of cooking an ingredient in fat (or sugar, as is the case with fruit) at a low temperature for a long time. It’s a technique originally from French cuisine and that was used (and is used) as a preservation method when there were no fridges so that food would last longer.
Ways to Use Garlic Confit
As a kitchen staple, it can be used in so many ways! You’ll see that when you prepare a jar, it’ll disappear in the blink of an eye. Here you have some dishes ideas where I love to use garlic confit:
- With bread. A simple toast and the garlic smeared all over like butter. Simple, but to die for. For example, this toast would work great for breakfast or to accompany my Tortellini and Vegetables soup .
- In sauces and dressings, swap raw or roasted garlic for garlic confit. In the case of raw garlic, confitted one provides a milder flavour and texture. When it comes to roasted garlic, the greatest advantage is not having to turn on the oven. And in which dressings or sauces can you use it specifically? A garlic mayonnaise, tomato sauce, rocket pesto or classic pesto, yoghurt dips, vinaigrettes or my basil tahini dressing for example.
- Add it to your hummus or legume dips, such as my white bean super creamy dip, both in the hummus as such and on top to garnish.
- With mashed potatoes, when you mash the potatoes add some garlic confit as well.
- Spread on a pizza base before adding the rest of the toppings, it’s also spectacular.
- Mix it in the dough of my no-knead homemade focaccia, you’ll be amazed.
Bonus. Garlic-Infused Oil
Thanks to cooking the garlic at a low temperature, we are also infusing the oil with the confit ingredients at the same time. On the one hand, we are going to use this oil to preserve the garlic and, on the other hand, you may have a little leftover if your jar is not big enough. In any case, this oil is liquid gold so, regardless of whether you have leftover oil from the beginning or from having used all the garlic and there’s some oil left in the jar, don’t throw it away!
Some ideas on how to use this oil: dressings and vinaigrettes, with pasta, to marinate, on roasted vegetables (both before and after roasting), as a bread dip, when cooking eggs (use this oil instead of regular oil), the possibilities are endless.
Additions to the Garlic Confit
Besides the garlic, you can throw your favourite herbs and spices into the confit. I have opted for rosemary and chilli, a Mediterranean classic with a spicy touch that you can perfectly omit.
Other delicious combinations are black peppercorns and bay leaf for example, add or replace rosemary with other Mediterranean herbs such as oregano and thyme, you can even be more exotic and opt for a more aromatic option using star anise, cumin grains, cloves, and white peppercorns.
How to Store Garlic Confit
Once the garlic is soft like butter, let it cool completely and store in a jar. My preference is an airtight glass jar (if you want to sterilize it or use it straight out from the dishwasher, even better. From here to the fridge.
It keeps well for 3 months but you can also freeze it. For example, you can use an ice-cube tray and put 2-3 cloves of garlic covered in oil in each cube and then defrost only the cubes that you will need.
Bear in mind that fat solidifies in the fridge, so the oil may harden and this is expected. Returning it to room temperature will make it liquid again. And in fact, so that you can fully enjoy its flavour, you should use it at room temperature anyways rather than cold.
If you make this Garlic Confit recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rate it. Hearing from you is everything! Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
- 3 heads of garlic - cloves separated, peeled and without the hard end (see notes)
- Olive oil - enough to cover all the garlic. It should be a mild flavour variety. I use Arbequina variety EVOO
- 2 sprigs of rosemary - optional
- 2 Bird’s eye chili - optional
- Add all the cloves of garlic, rosemary and chillies in a medium-large sized pot, preferably a cocotte type because it distributes the temperature very well, which allows the garlic to cook evenly, and it also has a thick base that minimizes the risk of burning it.
- Cook over low heat, the minimum of your stove top (little bubbles will pop up onto the surface but it should not boil or sizzle), for 30-45 minutes or until they melt like butter when pressed.
- Let them cool completely and transfer them to a jar. Cover them with the cooking oil. If you have leftover oil, save it too as it is a spectacular rosemary-garlic-chilli infused oil.
- Store in the fridge for up to 3-4 months (bear in mind that the fat solidifies in the fridge, so the oil may harden and this is expected. Returning it to room temperature will make it liquid again). Enjoy!
- If the garlic clove has a sprout, open it in half and remove the centre.
- You can also freeze the garlic confit. For example, you can use an ice cube tray and put 2-3 cloves of garlic covered in oil in each cube. Then defrost only the cubes that you will need.
- In the blogpost, you have a lot of ideas to use both the garlic confit and the leftover oil.
- The recipe doesn’t call for salt because I prefer to add it into the dishes where I use the garlic confit, so I can control the saltiness better. Feel free to add a bit of salt to the confit if you prefer.