Confit is a generic term for various foods that have been immersed and slow-cooked in a substance for both flavor and preservation. The word comes from the French verb confiture “preserves”, which in turn comes from the Latin conficere meaning “to do, to produce, to make, to prepare.” To confit garlic, you poach it in oil until meltingly tender. The resulting mild, subtle, sweet flavor and a rich texture completely transforms the garlic.
Garlic confit can be pureéd and stirred into soups, sauces, butter, vinaigrettes, marinades, and the legumes and grains. It is also perfect for making garlic toast and I am sure true garlic lovers would even enjoy snacking on these tasty little morsels by themselves! I initially made the garlic confit for my Pureé of Garlic Potatoes; however, I have found other uses since then, such as my Herb-Crusted Rack of Lamb with Honey Mustard Glaze. I also love cooking with the garlic-infused oil to make yummy Torn Croutons for salad toppings.
Garlic confit is a great staple that will keep in your refrigerator for up to a week.
Garlic Confit (from Ad Hoc at Home)
Yields: about 1 cup
- 1 C peeled garlic cloves
- about 2 C canola oil
Cut off and discard the root ends of the garlic cloves. I peeled the cloves but you can choose to leave the skin on.
Put the cloves in a small saucepan and add enough oil to cover them by about 1 inch — none of the garlic cloves should be poking through the oil. Set the saucepan on a diffuser over medium-low heat. That is of course, if you actually own a heat diffuser… otherwise don’t worry about it… I didn’t!
The garlic should cook gently; very small bubbles will come up through the oil, but the bubbles should not break the surface; adjust the heat if necessary and/or move the pan to one side of the diffuser if it is cooking too quickly.
Cook the garlic for about 40 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until the cloves are completely tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the garlic to cool in the oil.
Refrigerate the garlic in a covered container, submerged in the oil, for up to 1 week.