Garlic Confit is a magical ingredient that will enhance any and every dish. Confit is a preservation method in which an ingredient (garlic) is cooked in a fat (olive oil) at a low heat. The result is perfectly tender and sweet cloves of garlic, along with a delicious infused oil. Both the cloves and the oil have so many different uses you’ll likely be making the recipe regularly. Read on for all the different confit uses.
What Exactly is Garlic Confit?
The word confit is derived from the French verb “confire”, to preserve. Confit is most commonly heard today when talking about duck confit. To confit something means to cook an ingredient in a large amount of fat at a low temperature for a long period of time, then storing it in that fat. The fat acts as a barrier to bacteria and allows the confit to last months at room temperature. This process was most valuable for preserving poultry in the days before refrigeration. Especially during the long winter months!
The process for garlic confit is incredibly simple.
The only step is to place a 12-15 garlic cloves (or more!) in a pot with about 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil. At its root, that’s enough for a simple garlic confit. However, this recipe we include lemon peels, bay leaves, and a red chili pepper. The confit can be easily customized to whatever aromatics you have, or will compliment a dish you have in mind. We love to use this variation for so many things, like our hummus recipe! The heat and the lemon peels in the oil really complement the hummus flavors when drizzled on top, and the garlic cloves go right in the actual hummus!
Things to do with Garlic Confit
The options here are truly endless.
Oil Drizzle: this idea may seem both simple and obvious, but it’s oh so good. Drizzle the oil on top of everything, salads, sandwiches, hummus, pizza, pasta, all of it. It’s olive oil, but better.
Roasting and Cooking: another simple and obvious one. Anything you normally use olive oil for, whether it be sautéing or roasting, use this oil instead. All you’re doing is adding a fantastic layer of flavor to those roasted veggies, or sautéed shrimp.
Sauces and Vinaigrettes: This one comes in two parts, the oil can be used in any vinaigrettes or sauces that you typically use oil for. However the garlic can be used as an actual sauce base. Putting them in the food processor with a touch of the oil and some salt will give you an unreal saucy experience.
Garlic Dips: Other than using the garlic for our amazing hummus recipe, you can also blend the garlic with creamy cheeses to make more of a cheesy garlic dip. Just don’t forget to add some fresh herbs!
Garlic Toppings: Whether you mash the garlic into a bit of a paste, chop them up, or leave them whole, they make fantastic toppings. On sandwiches, pizza, garlic bread, pasta, salads, the list goes on.
Storing your Confit
Contrary to the history of this preservation method, storing the confit at room temperature is not advised due to the risk of developing botulism. Storing the confit in the refrigerator is both safer, and increases the longevity of the ingredients by a lot.
Garlic confit should be cooled then stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Due to the risk of developing botulism, storing the confit at room temperature is not advised. It is recommended to cool and store the confit as soon as it has reached room temperature.
- 2 cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 12-15 Peeled Garlic Cloves
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Chili Pepper
- Peels of 1 Lemon
- Peel one lemon, get as much of the yellow part of the peel as you can. Set aside the rest of the lemon for later.
- In a small pot pour in the 2 cups of extra virgin olive oil. Add the peeled garlic cloves, lemon peels, bay leaves, and red chili pepper to the oil.
- Simmer on the lowest heat setting for 20-25 minutes until the garlic cloves are golden in color, then remove from the heat.
- Place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.