With the uptick in garden produce to our kitchen I’ve found myself thankful that we’ve kept a well stocked pantry of flavor boosters to pair with it all for our Saturday Brunch Café and Family Meals. While keeping the preparations of such amazing produce is key to highlighting their flavor it also helps to have a few fantastic ingredients around to really take them to the next level. From flavored salts to vinegars to spice mixes, a little dash of that key ingredient can help round out a dish.
One such ingredient that I like to keep on hand and that has so many uses is garlic confit. Years ago while working at a Farm to Table restaurant in Brooklyn, we used to make quarts and quarts of it and we always had some stashed away on our station for adding to any number of dishes during service. Confit really refers to anything submerged in and cooked in a fat. Some may be familiar with duck confit which is duck legs slowly cooked in their own rendered fat until tender. For garlic confit we take a whole bunch of cloves and just barely cover them in a neutral flavored oil. Then, the garlic is just barely simmered in the oil over a low flame until tender and roasty. What great is that the garlic if kept in this cooking oil will keep in the fridge for months! Additionally, you get a wonderfully flavored garlic oil to cook with or drizzle over toasted bread. A couple of these confit cloves can be sauteed with fresh greens for a vegetable with a toasty, garlicky flavor. It’s a fantastic ingredient to have on hand and it's so easy to make!
A whole bunch of cloves, as many as you like!
Neutral flavored Oil – I prefer Canola
Place the garlic cloves in a small or medium pot, leaving at least a good 2 inches of space from the lip of the pot
Pour enough oil to just barely cover the cloves
Place over a very low flame. This is key. If you leave it too high and walk away the garlic can burn easily.
Bring to just a bare simmer. There should be a slow but steady stream of bubbles coming off the cooking garlic
Simmer approximately 30-40 minutes or until the garlic is turning a light golden brown and is very tender. It will mush when you squeeze it.
Once tender, turn off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature
Pour the garlic cloves and oil into a sealable container and place in the fridge for later use. It will keep in the fridge like this for at least 2 months if kept covered.