Until a few weeks ago, I had no idea what garlic confit was. There were multiple discussions about it on my Sous Vide Dummies Facebook group and I started asking questions. The impression that I got was that it was like roasted garlic but… better. How anything could be better than roasted garlic, I didn’t know. Well, now I know. And now I know that this is the only garlic I’ll ever use for my favorite recipes. The sweet, mellow and delicious taste will lift any recipe from ordinary to extraordinary.
What is garlic confit?
The cooking method “confit” describes anything that has been cooked slowly into a rich, succulent texture, usually in an oil bath. To confit garlic, the cloves are very gently poached in oil, transforming them into the most delicate, sweet and tender morsels. They are like buttah… really.
The confit cloves can be used to flavor anything you’d usually use garlic in – soups, sauces, pastas, vinaigrettes. This week, I’m using them to top my Chopped Porchetta Sandwiches with Sauteed Kale and Garlic Confit and in my Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic Confit. Try spreading a clove of garlic over crusty bread. Warning: You will never want butter again.
Another Victory for Sous Vide Cooking!
Sous vide cooking is perfect for confit. Consistent, temperature controlled cooking will ensure an even and perfectly cooked product that is hard to get with any other method.
Olive oil is a great conductor of heat, but feel free to experiment with other oils. For a really rich, liquid gold treat – try poaching the garlic in duck fat. The garlic infused oil is a treat too – use it in recipes for a subtle hint of garlic.
Garlic confit is sure to become a favorite of yours, the only question is – how will you use it?
10 Ways To Use Garlic Confit
- Whip a few cloves and some of the infused oil with vinegar to make a vinaigrette. Toss it with delicate greens.
- Smash some of the cloves and whisk them with some of the infused oil. Toss the thick garlicky oil with steamed vegetables. (Excellent with asparagus, green beans, snow and snap peas, broccoli, and cauliflower.)
- Toss roasted or grilled vegetables with a spoonful of the tender garlic.
- Spread the tender cloves over toasted bread or cheese-smeared crostini. (Goat cheese is a great option.) For a composed hors d’oeuvre, garnish the garlic toasts with chives or any fresh herbs.
- Layer garlic confit into a sandwich or pizza.
- Toss garlic confit into a vegetable pasta. (Just pick a vegetable and pair it with garlic confit and pasta. For an easy option, try fresh tomatoes and basil.)
- Whip the tender cloves into any vegetable puree for sweet garlic flavor. (Try garlic confit with a potato, celery root, cauliflower, winter squash, or sunchoke puree.) A whipped chickpea or cannellini bean puree will also benefit from a spoonful of garlic confit.
- Make a vegetable and garlic confit salad. Slice the cloves in half and toss them into a tomato, basil, and toasted bread salad. Use some of the oil to sauté corn-off-the-cob just briefly. Toss the corn with sliced or smashed cloves, fresh basil, and feta. (Add zucchini and/or tomatoes to the corn salad if you wish.)
- Add garlic confit to sauces and soups.
- Use the back of a fork to break down cloves into a paste. Stir the garlic paste into plain Greek yogurt or ricotta to make a creamy garlic dip or condiment. If you wish, add summer herbs to the mixture or drizzle the top with a good olive oil or chili oil.
A Warning About Botulism: Garlic is an extremely low-acid vegetable. When it is stored improperly in oil (without oxygen) and in warm temperatures (at room temperature), it can produce a very serious toxin that causes the illness botulism. Botulism can be fatal if not treated immediately. It is very important to refrigerate garlic confit, as per the Center for Disease Control. Use a clean jar with a tight seal to store garlic confit; cool the garlic and oil as quickly as possible, and refrigerate it immediately. If you store the preserved garlic properly, it should keep for several months, however, to be completely safe, I recommend only storing it for up to three weeks. If you’re worried, you can also safely freeze garlic confit for several months.