Confit garlic and oil

This is a great fridge staple you can make to take your food to the next level. The recipe creates two ingredients at the same time – confit garlic and garlic oil and can be kept in the fridge till you need to add a punch to a sandwich, pizza or salad.

Confiting is a preservation technique of slowly cooking in oil or butter. In this case it takes the sharp unpleasant notes out of the raw garlic and enhances the deep warming garlic flavour. 

Use the cloves wherever you might use raw garlic – I use it in grilled cheese, pizza, salad dressings, pasta dishes, egg based snacks and cheese sauces. I also use it to replace the grated garlic in my chorizo tear and share buns (see page 84 of the 2022 Bake Off book). Use a clove to make my grilled cheese sandwich.

You can also make the easiest garlic bread by toasting some sour dough and squidging a few cloves and drizzling a little oil on top with a pinch of salt flakes and a squeeze of black pepper.

Good to make if ever you find garlic on special offer!

You will need…

  • Between 3 and 10 heads of garlic
  • Olive oil (not extra virgin) to cover (between 75 and 250ml)
  • Herbs and spices (optional), a couple of bay leaves, a sprig of rosemary, a few black pepper corns, dried chilli etc.

To confit garlic…

  1. Break up the heads of garlic and peel the cloves, trim any brown patches. Put in a small pan. This can be quite repetitive, so I find putting a good album on and sing along!
  2. Add any herbs or spices you are using and add enough oil to just cover the garlic.
  3. Put on the lowest heat you can and cook slowly until the cloves are slightly translucent and are soft if prodded with a skewer – if you have a temperature probe try to keep the oil around 80-90C. They can take on a little bit of colour, but if they are starting to get too brown take them off the heat and let them cool down. This should take between 10 and 30 minutes, but it depends on the age of your garlic, and the amount you are making so keep an eye (and nose) on it!
  4. Sterilise a jar
  5. Put the warm garlic and oil in the jar. Cool and refrigerate. If stored properly it should last 12 months in the fridge.