Makes about 3 cups oil and 1 cup garlic confit Preparation time 5 minutes Cooking time 1 hour
Confit refers to the method of cooking something in oil at a very low temperature – this process produces a total change in flavour and aroma. Make a large quantity to keep in the fridge to flavour pasta, steak sauces and anything you fancy, really.
• 6 heads of garlic • 3 cups (750ml) olive oil • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, rosemary
or origanum (optional) • 1 teaspoon (5ml) freshly ground
This is how
Heat the oven to 150ºC. You can roast the garlic heads whole or cut them in half. If you do halve them, the garlic flavour will be stronger and the result won’t be quite as buttery as when the heads are left whole. Arrange the garlic in a single layer, cut side down if you don’t leave them whole, in an oven dish in which they fit snugly. Pour the olive oil over, tuck the herbs in between and grind black pepper over. Cover the dish with foil and place it in the oven for 45-60 minutes – remove the foil for the last 15 minutes. The garlic should be as soft as butter and come out of its skin so easily that it can be mashed.
Place a sieve over a mixing bowl and pour the contents of the oven dish into it. Pour the drained oil into a jar. Once the garlic is cool enough to handle, use a fork to remove the flesh from the skins, or do this by hand (discard the skins and herbs).
Mash the garlic in the mixing bowl, scrape it into a sterilised jar and cover with a layer of the garlic oil. The soft garlic and the oil will keep in the fridge for at least a month but you can also freeze it.
The warm, soft garlic is delicious spread onto bread and topped with cheese – or served with chicken, stirred into pasta sauces, or use it in the recipe for roasted garlic-andhazelnut spread (overleaf). >