Confited garlic is nothing more than the peeled cloves slow-cooked in a bath of seasoned oil. This strips the raw cloves of their acidity, removes their sharp heat and concentrates their sweetness. Use these soft cloves anytime butter or garlic is called for in a savory recipe, especially if raw garlic is too harsh for you.
Garlic confit will last forever (okay, a month) as long as you put it in a clean jar, refrigerate it and refrain from double dipping. If the spoonful of confit touches other food, don't put that same spoon back into the jar for more. This calls for 2 cups total of oil. If it isn't enough to cover the garlic cloves completely, add more. To freeze, first puree the cloves and store in 3-tablespoon portions in small resealable plastic bags. Let thaw before using.
The garlic puree is simply the smooth, spreadable version of garlic confit. Use it with abandon. Use twice as much as you think you should. Use it instead of mayonnaise on your favorite sandwich. Eat is straight off a spoon (but don't double dip!), standing in front of a fridge.
- 3 cups peeled garlic cloves
- 1 fresh bay leaf or 2 dried
- 8 to 10 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoons black peppercorns
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the garlic confit:
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
Place garlic cloves, bay leaf, thyme, salt, and peppercorns in a heavy-bottomed, oven-proof pot. Pour the canola and olive oils over to cover. Cover, transfer to the oven and bake until the garlic cloves are pale gold and tender (you should be able to smash them with the back of a spoon), about 50 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Transfer the cloves and oil to a clean, wide-mouthed resealable jar.
For the garlic confit puree:
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic cloves only to the bowl of a food processor (a mini-processor is ideal) and process until smooth. Alternatively, mash the cloves with the side of a knife. Store in a clean resealable jar.