Have you ever had Garlic Confit? Even if you are shaking your head “no”, I can pretty much guarantee that you have and it was what made a restaurant dish superb. Homemade confit garlic is simpler than you think and perfect for any garlic lover.
What is Garlic Confit?
Homemade Garlic Confit is a condiment that adds flavor and sophistication to any dish. Gentle garlic flavor without overwhelming. So mild, in fact, that you can eat it straight up off an antipasto platter or spread on a crusty slice of bread. It is a French cooking technique that has been adopted to many other styles of cooking.
Tender cloves of garlic are softened in a vat of olive oil. What’s not to love? The confit process is used in many other recipes like tomato confit or duck confit. Any type of fat can be used like duck fat or even bacon fat. It is similar to roasted garlic, but done in oil, so it stays soft.
I made a new year’s resolution this year. It was to prepare one recipe from a beautiful cookbook at least once every two weeks. The plan is to flip to a random page and make whatever is on it, no exceptions, we call it Recipe Roulette.
My sister gave me a cookbook from one of her favorite restaurants, Gjelina, in Venice, California. The recipe I flipped to was Broccolini with Red Wine Vinegar. Those pink tinged pieces are my garlic confit recipe seasoned with red wine vinegar.
What You’ll Need
Like many base recipes and condiments you need to start with quality ingredients.
- Good Quality Extra Virging Olive Oil– Some imported olive oils are mixed with vegetable oil since real olive oil is so precious. If bottled in another country where ingredient list standards might not be as stringent at the states, you could possibly be getting this blended oil. If the price is too good to be true, then perhaps it is?
Even though there are some splendid olive oils from groves dating backs hundreds of years in Spain and Italy, I generally get mine from California.
First press will have the most flavor and look almost cloudy. Don’t let your “good” olive oil sit around for too long. It is a fresh ingredient and will go rancid at some point.
- Raw Garlic– Just aim for garlic with no brown spots. You can buy cloves that are already peeled, but they are sometimes dried out because there is low turnover. Just check the bag before you buy it.
- Herbs– For this batch with used fresh thyme and dried bay leaves, leaving us with an earthy and peppery taste. Use basil for sweet and oregano or rosemary for savory dishes. Fresh herbs are best, unless it is bay leaves, which can be bitter fresh.
- Salt– Salt brings out the natural flavors, but also helps to naturally preserve the mixture.
How to Make Garlic Confit
The hands-on time is quick, but it does take a bit to cook.
- Preheat the oven and place garlic cloves in a shallow medium baking dish. Add the thyme and bay leaves and season with the salt. Keeping it a low heat for a long period of time is the key to making it nice and creamy. Some even make it in the slow cooker.
- Pour the olive oil over the top until fully immersed. This can also be done in a small saucepan, but it is easier to cook it evenly warm in the oven.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until garlic is light brown and fragrant. Remove and allow to cool.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove cloves or let them sit, stored in a clean jar, in the extra virgin oil.
How to use Garlic Confit
Because of the mild garlic flavor, you can use the whole cloves without worry.
- On pizzas
- In mashed potatoes or twice baked potatoes
- Slathered on crusty bread
- In sandwiches, burgers or paninis
- On charcuterie boards
- In pastas
- Use oil and garlic as a marinade
- In soups or stews
- As a gift
- In pasta sauce
- Use the garlic oil in salad dressing, marinades and for topping steaks or grilled chicken
- Remaining oil can also be frozen into small servings using an ice cube tray and freezing
Storage & Shelf Life
Store in an airtight container or mason jar at room temperature in a cool, dry place for 2-3 weeks as long as cloves are fully covered by olive oil. You can refrigerate them, but the olive will solidify and you’ll need to let it come to room temperature before you can get them back out.
Here are more perfect antipasto platter recipes:
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Homemade Garlic Confit
- Preheat the oven to 300°F degrees.
- Place the garlic cloves, bay leaves and thyme in a shallow medium baking dish. Season with the salt. Cover the garlic and herbs fully in olive oil.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the garlic is light brown and fragrant. Remove and allow to cool.
- If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.