Garlic lovers rejoice: You can make homemade garlic confit and garlic oil with only a few minutes of prep time. Slowly roasting garlic cloves in olive oil allows them to become mild, caramelized, and tender enough to spread with a butter knife.
WHAT IS GARLIC CONFIT?
The term “confit” (pronounced con-fee) is used to describe food that has been cooked slowly in a generous amount of fat to a lightly-caramelized, rich, and tender texture. Traditionally, confit is a technique used to preserve meats by cooking them in their own fats; the most famous example of which is duck confit. However, the term can be used to describe any ingredient– from meat to vegetables to fruits, and beyond– that is cooked in fat at a low temperature.
Garlic Confit involves covering peeled, whole cloves of garlic with oil and gently slow-cooking until the cloves lose all of their bitterness and instead become delicate, slightly sweet, and buttery-soft.
If you enjoy traditional roasted garlic, garlic confit will likely be up your alley. It’s very similar in both texture and flavor, but when you make garlic confit you actually wind up with more than super-soft, spreadable cloves. You also get garlic oil!
THE ADDED BONUS: GARLIC-INFUSED OIL
We know that meat confits (such as duck or pork confit) are cooked in their own fat, but for vegetables that don’t have enough fat to be cooked in, such as garlic, oil has to be added.
You can use nearly any cooking oil, but I generally choose olive oil. It adds a subtle complimentary flavor to the garlic confit, and of course the garlic returns the favor.
Garlic confit naturally comes with garlic-infused olive oil adds a kick to marinades and dressings and is perfect as a simple dip for warm bread.
You don’t need a lot to make garlic confit.
In fact, you really just need 3 ingredients…
- Garlic. You’re going to need garlic cloves for this recipe, obviously, and you’re going to want a lot of it. Pre-peeled garlic cloves can save you time and effort, but if you’d prefer to peel by hand, I have a tip in the recipe video that can help.
- Extra virgin olive oil. As mentioned above, you can use many different oils, but extra virgin olive oil is a great option as it’s not heated high enough to burn and imparts a great flavor on the cloves.
- Fresh herbs (or other seasonings): Rosemary is my go-to for added flavor, but you can use so many things to flavor your confit. Thyme, oregano, bay leaves, or even chili flakes all make fantastic additions.
… and you’ll have everything you need to make buttery soft, spreadable garlic cloves. That’s all it takes.
HOW TO MAKE GARLIC CONFIT
Three ingredients AND three steps. Here’s how you do it.
- To start, separate and peel all of the garlic cloves. This can take some time, but this is the only step that really requires much effort, so start off strong and know it’s all a cakewalk from here.
- Add all of the ingredients to an oven-safe dish. The order doesn’t matter here. Just make sure the walls of your dish are high enough to safely contain all of the oil.
- Slow roast until the cloves are tender. They will be lightly golden, jammy-soft, and spreadable when done.
IS GARLIC CONFIT SAFE?
Don’t get nervous at the fact that this question even exists. As long as you’re sure to properly store your garlic, it is safe.
However, it is important to note that garlic is an ingredient that carries a risk of botulism when not stored correctly. Don’t let your garlic confit sit out at room temperature, as this provides an ideal environment for dangerous toxins to form.
Always refrigerate your garlic confit, and keep in mind that canning is not an option for preserving garlic confit for longer.
HOW LONG DOES GARLIC CONFIT LAST?
The garlic confit will last up to two weeks, refrigerated in an air-tight container.
If you’d like to save it for longer, you can freeze the garlic confit for up to 2 months. This works especially well if you portion out the oil and garlic into an ice cube tray so you can take out a few tablespoons’ worth and use it to cook with whenever needed. Keep in mind that the oil will not fully solidify though, so try to keep it covered or in a spot where it won’t tip over and spill.
HOW TO USE GARLIC CONFIT AND GARLIC OIL
Uses for garlic confit and garlic oil are pretty straightforward– anything you want garlic flavor in can use it.
- Serve with crusty bread. You can spread the garlic confit directly onto a sliced baguette (heaven), or use the bread to sop up garlic oil (also heaven). If you spread the garlic out on crostini, it also is fantastic topped with bruschetta and balsamic reduction!
- Mix into dressings, condiments, or marinades. Mash the garlic cloves into mayo for a sandwich spread; marinate feta and olives in the garlic oil for a party; or use both the cloves and oil along with some white wine vinegar and dijon mustard for a deliciously garlicky salad dressing.
- Blend into your favorite dip. Dips like hummus and baba ghanoush are great as-is, but with garlic confit blended it? Oh man. It’s a game-changer.
- Smash into ricotta and add to a main dish. Layered in lasagna or spooned into stuffed shells, garlicky ricotta can take your pasta dishes to the next level.
- Serve on a burger. Whole cloves of garlic on a freshly grilled burger is not a thing to be underrated.
- Add to your veggies. Mix into a tray of roasted vegetables or mash into potatoes for a boost of flavor.
WATCH THE VIDEO
- 4 large heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2 sprigs rosemary
Prehehat the oven to 250°F.
In a small baking dish, combine the garlic cloves, oil, and herbs.
Bake until garlic is tender, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The garlic is done when the cloves are golden, soft, and jammy.
- Store the confit in a clean jar. Refrigerate; use within 2 weeks.