Karen’s Garlic Confit ~ A Silky, Spreadable Condiment
Garlic Confit is a “must have” recipe for every cook. Luscious softened garlic surrounded by a blend of healthy oils. Use the cloves and garlic- infused oil for a subtle yet rich flavor.
Ok – I’m obsessed with garlic! I rarely cook without it. Nicknamed “the stinking rose” – it’s the most common flavoring agent in the United States, beat out only by pepper.
The term confit is used to describe anything that has been cooked slowly into a rich, succulent texture. For confit garlic, the cloves are very gently poached in oil, transforming them into the most delicate, sweet and tender morsels.
- After making your confit, you’ll also end up with creamy garlic cloves immersed in a delicious garlic-infused oil.Roasting the garlic gives it a rich, robust flavor without sacrificing any of the health benefits.
- The confited garlic mashes to a creamy paste instantly with minimal effort.
Every drop of the infused oil adds flavor to all you cook! Use the garlic olive oil in salad dressings and marinades, drizzle it on veggies, and dip some bread in it.
- Fresh herbs (cleaned and well dried) can be added to the oil, rosemary complements well – and peppercorns will add another spicy layer.
- To make, simply peel the cloves and add them to a dutch oven, just cover with half extra virgin olive oil and half of a neutral oil, such as non-gmo safflower. Cover and cook in a slow 275 degree oven for about an hour.
- The cloves will be softened and a little translucent, but not browned. Cool, then pack into clean (sterilized) glass jars and store in the refrigerator. Will stay fresh for a few weeks – hint: use a clean spoon each time you remove the garlic cloves.
The most important thing is the quality of the ingredients. The garlic is critical. There are dangers of garlic grown in China.
Please use Domestic Garlic! Imported Chinese Garlic (which is most common) is bleached. Garlic from China is sprayed with chemicals to stop sprouting, to whiten garlic, and to kill insects and plant matter.
You can tell the difference by looking at the bottom. If the roots are all removed, leaving a concave, clean spot, it is Chinese.
American garlic is richer in flavor than the Chinese one. Did you know that almost 50 -80% (reports vary) of all imported garlic comes from China?
Buy from a Farmers’ Market, directly from the grower… or from a market where it is labeled: “USA.”
I have used the “Music” – a hardneck variety for its mildly to medium heat, and musky, rich taste.
Store garlic in a cool, dark spot.
After making your confit, you’ll also end up with creamy garlic cloves immersed in a delicious garlic-infused oil.
Mellower than raw garlic – flavor soups, sauces, crostini, pastas, vinaigrettes, sandwiches, or marinades…
Did You Know?
There are over 600 named varieties (and counting) of garlic which are grouped into two main subspecies — ophioscorodon (hardneck) and sativum (soft neck.)
Softneck garlic is the type you’ll most likely see in the produce section of your grocery store.
Folklore and Nutrition of Garlic:
- In folk medicine garlic has been said to cure just about everything from the everything from the common cold and flu to the plague!
- Central European folk beliefs considered garlic a powerful ward against devils, werewolves, and vampires.
- Roasting the garlic gives it a rich, robust flavor without sacrificing any of the health benefits.
- An all-round flavoring and medicinal herb, garlic was one of humankind’s earliest foods – believed to have first been cultivated in the Euphrates and Nile Valleys more than 5,000 years ago.
- Modern science has proved that garlic has powerful antibiotic properties, and it is thought to lower both cholesterol and blood pressure. Garlic also has a strong antioxidant effect, protecting the body from damaging free radicals.
- Adding roasted, cooked garlic to meals gives a lot of flavor and health benefits without added calories. A single clove of garlic contains only 4 calories and less than 1 gram each of protein, carbohydrate and fat. There are a very small amount of vitamins and minerals in garlic, such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium and vitamins C, A and B. However, most of garlic’s health benefits come from potent anti-cancer compounds, immune-strengthening molecules and heart disease-preventing antioxidants it contains.
- A single clove of garlic contains only 4 calories and less than 1 gram each of protein, carbohydrate and fat.
While making your food delicious you will also be getting these healthy benefits:
- Vitamin C, B6 and selenium
- Improvement of immune function
- Thins blood (can help control blood pressure)
- Increases anti-oxidants/fights free radicals in blood
I enjoyed speaking with Dan Sullivan from Garlic Spot Farm at the festival. He grows over 20 varieties of hard-to-find Heirloom Garlic – something for every taste! He attended a garlic workshop including Chester Aaron (author and grower of 93 varieties of garlic… let’s just say the granddaddy in the field) from Sonoma County, CA – and kicked off his life-long love affair – with the pungent allium.
See my whole category: I LOVE GARLIC!
Here’s to some Garlic-Love!
Karen’s Garlic Confit ~ A Silky, Spreadable Condiment
- 4 heads fresh garlic* preferably recently harvested
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup safflower oil** expeller pressed
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
- Separate the garlic cloves and remove the papery skins. I use a garlic peeler – a flexible tube. Simply place a few cloves inside, and rub on your countertop – the papery skins will just fall off! HINT: cutting off the inner blunt end will make them easier to peel.
- Place the peeled cloves in a heavy dutch oven pot (about 8″ in diameter) suitable for the oven. I use an enamel coated cast iron one. Add both oils to just about cover the cloves. This will depend on the size for your pot. Add more or less oil if necessary.
- Cover the pot. No cover? No problem, use heavy foil and crimp tightly. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour until garlic is silky and sotftened. The oil should slightly bubble, but not boil as it slowly cooks. You don’t want the cloves to brown! – this will completely ruin the flavor.
- Test with a small sharp knife – garlic should be softened and slightly translucent, but not browned at all. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
- Carefully add the garlic to sterilized glass jars, top with the oil. Canning jars work well – I used two half pints and one pint. Seal tightly and place in the refrigerator.
- To enjoy: use a clean spoon to remove garlic each time. USE the garlic oil for everyday cooking & salad dressings.
You can tell the difference by looking at the bottom. If the roots are all removed, leaving a concave, clean spot, it is Chinese. ** with concerns about gmo’s and processing of oils, use a vegetable oil which has not been chemically treated, this is called “expeller pressed.” This recipe may not be reproduced without the consent of its author, Karen Sheer. HINT: cutting off the inner blunt end will make them easier to peel.