Recently, I wrote about planting garlic, and how now is the time to do it in the northern states. I mentioned that when I have a lot of garlic, I like to preserve it in oil. Not only does it allow you to store it pretty much forever (an ongoing theme of mine you may recognize by now), but it makes garlic far more digestible for those who have problems with it.
I would note however, that I wouldn’t dream of doing this with my homegrown garden garlic for a couple reasons. First, it’s so easy to peel the fresh stuff, that I don’t find myself cursing it like I do the store bought stuff. Second, it stores well through the winter months, so I usually run out of it.
I make garlic confit from store bought garlic that I buy already peeled. You can get mongo-sized jars from CostCo for pennies a clove, but I’ve also seen it at grocery stores and it still seems pretty reasonable, considering you would spend about nine hours peeling the same number of cloves yourself…
I would have waited until the waning days of winter to write this, which is when I usually find myself making the confit, but when I was working in the garden last weekend, turning the soil, I happened upon a few dozen tiny garlic cloves (and two red potatoes!) that were starting to sprout.
I have absolutely no idea where they came from. Left alone, they would have been delightful surprises come spring — albeit in the wrong place. But I wrenched them from the ground prematurely and didn’t have the time or the patience to lovingly replant them in a more appropriate place. That they had already sprouted small green shoots, meant that the center of the clove would likely be tough, so I decided to do a small batch of Garlic Confit. I post the directions for you now, in hopes that you will try it yourself.
First, peel and trim the root ends of a bunch of garlic.
Barely cover the cloves with delicious tasting olive oil.
I, personally, love both the taste and the price of CostCo’s Kirland brand. And before any of you judge me for shopping at CostCo and not pressing my own, you gotta hear this. I heard on Evan Kleiman’s GoodFood podcast that giving up meat just one day a week does more good for the enviornment than eating every single thing from local sources! I digress, but isn’t that amazing?
Cook over the lowest, lowest, lowest heat setting. The goal is to cook these guys for at least an hour without them getting too dark. I cooked mine (below) almost two hours due to those feisty center stems and as a result, they got a little more brown than normal.
Basically, you just want them to get as soft as butter. When that happens, they’re done.
Finally, pour the oil and the cloves into glass canning jars, or whatever container you like, and store in the refrigerator.
Use the cloves in place of raw garlic, use the oil for sauteing and subtle garlic flavoring. As usual, it keeps indefinitely!
In addition to being so quick to use for cooking, it also allows me to up the garlic quotient considerably in my recipes, since my husband is one of those vexing people who get stomachaches from eating raw garlic. It is true, I considered divorce.
Thank goodness I discovered Garlic Confit! It practically saved my marriage!