Garlic Confit

I’m definitely late to the party with garlic confit given it has been every third video I’ve seen on TikTok for months. I now see why. It’s utterly delicious! I know many make it on the stove, but I made my garlic confit in the oven because I love a set and forget recipe.

In the centre of the image is a white plate with red butterflies on it and a hand hovers above it holding a piece of toast that's been spread with garlic confit. On top of that is some mozzarella and a sprinkle of thyme. Beneath the plate on the concrete table is a yellow napkin and an ornamental dragonfly. Slightly above the plate on the table is a purple trivet underneath a small frying pan that contains the garlic confit. And well above the plate on the table to the left is a chopping board with a loaf and slices of sourdough.Pin

Health Benefits

I wanted to quickly mention this, as I’ve seen many people talk about the health benefits of garlic when making confit. Thing is garlic does have some incredible health benefits with thanks to the allicin it contains. This compound has been shown to reduce cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose amongst many other things (1). However, these health benefits are experienced when garlic is consumed chopped/crushed and raw. This is because allicin is quickly destroyed (2) when garlic is cooked.

None of this is to say that there are no health benefits in this at all. Of course there are! As there are in all whole foods. We still have the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of the extra virgin olive oil, and some of the vitamins and minerals in the garlic. Plenty to keep us nourished.

Garlic Confit Ingredients

I can all but guarantee you’re going to have all these ingredients on hand. Don’t you love a recipe that doesn’t require a trip to the supermarket?

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  • One head of garlic – This is enough to make a small batch of garlic confit that can be consumed in a couple of days. See why I think that’s important due to the possibility of botulism in the FAQ section below.
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) – the amount you need will depend on what you’re using to cook the garlic in. You just want enough to ensure the garlic cloves are completely submerged when cooking.
  • A few sprigs of thyme – you can really use any robust herb you like here. I’ve also done it with rosemary, which is delicious.

The Use Of EVOO In Cooking

This seems to be a contentious issue at the best of times. Largely due to the belief that EVOO has a lower smoke point and will go rancid/be detrimental to health when heated. I really don’t know where this started but I always believed it to be untrue. I have Greek heritage and it was never a question in my home as a child. If you were doing anything that required oil (cooked or not) you were using extra virgin olive oil and that was that.

Many years ago now I contacted the International Olive Council in Italy to try and put this argument to rest. Their advice to me was that it was absolutely fine to cook with EVOO, as its smoke point is actually 210°C (410°F). This is much higher than frying temperature (180°C/~360°F). Scientific studies, both new and old, also confirm this. Recent research on EVOO notes that it degrades differently to other vegetable oils when heated. This is with thanks to its fatty acid profile, which is more resistant to oxidation, and compounds such as phenolic acids, flavones etc. These ensure the oil remains stable even when exposed to high temperatures.

It will lose some of its nutrients, as many foods do when cooked. But it is far from detrimental to your health when used in cooking. Scientific research aside – if its good enough for the elderly residents in the Mediterranean Blue Zones, it’s good enough for me!

How To Make Garlic Confit

This does take a little time to cook because it’s done on a low temperature. That being said, hands on time is next to nothing. Particularly if you’re a very proficient garlic peeler!

  1. Preheat oven to 90°C / 195°F
  2. Peel all the cloves in one head of garlic and slice off the bottom end where the root was.
  3. Add all cloves into the pan you’re using to cook this in. I used a tiny frying pan with a 5-inch (~12cm) diameter. You could also use a ramekin.
  4. Pour over enough EVOO to completely submerge the garlic.
  5. Place a few sprigs of thyme on the top and place in the oven to cook for 2 hours.
  6. To serve, drop a big clove into a nourishing bowl, make salad dressings with it, or simply spread it on some toast.
  7. Storage of any leftover confit should happen as soon as possible. You’ll need to get it to room temperature first. To help this along you can pour the confit into a jar and sit it in a bowl with some iced water for a few minutes. Then, pop the lid on and put it in the fridge. Use it up within four days and discard any leftovers. See the FAQ section for more details.

Two hours was the perfect cooking time for me, but everyone’s oven is different. You want garlic that is soft, but still remains intact. If it’s falling apart it’s cooked for too long. With that in mind, I suggest checking it at the 90 minutes mark to see how it’s going.

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FAQ

What is garlic confit used for?

You can add a clove into salad dressings, use it to make garlic bread, add some to your mashed potatoes (delicious!), blend some into your soup, or even mix it into pasta. I also add a clove or two along with some of the oil into my nourishing bowls.

Can you get botulism from garlic confit?

The CDC note that when chopped garlic in oil is stored improperly, botulism can occur. The same is true for herbs in oil too. Their recommendation is to refrigerate any garlic in oil as soon as possible and discard after four days. Whilst the garlic is whole in this recipe I still approach with caution and make a small batch whenever I’d like it. It takes no effort at all, just a little time in the oven. I’ve seen some videos of an entire baking dish of confit being made at once… and I have to say that makes me nervous. My recommendation is small batch only.

How do you store garlic confit?

Once the confit has been made you want to get it down to room temperature as quickly as possible. Pouring it into a jar and sitting it in an ice bath is an effective way to do this. As it’s only cooked at 90°C (195°F) there is little to no risk of the jar cracking. Leave in the ice bath for 5 minutes, put a lid on the jar then put it straight in the fridge. Use it up within four days and discard any leftovers.

Watch How To Make This Garlic Confit

This is a square image showing a concrete table that has a purple trivet in the centre. On top of that is a cast iron frying pan that contains garlic confit. The pan has a blue and white striped tea towel wrapped around the handle, as it's just come out of the oven. A hand with pink/purple nails is holding the handle with the tea towel around it.Pin

Garlic Confit

Garlic confit combines some of the most delicious flavours to produce a spreadable garlic and flavoured oil you'll want to use on everything. Recipe video is above!
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Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Easy
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Calories: 42kcal

Equipment

  • 1 small frying pan or ramekin (the pan I used was 5 inches (~12cm) diameter

Ingredients

  • 1 head garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil (enough to cover the garlic)
  • A few sprigs of thyme

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 90°C / 195°F.
  • Peel the garlic cloves and slice off the bottoms where the root was attached.
  • Add all cloves into the pan you're using to cook this in. I used a tiny frying pan with a 5-inch (~12cm) diameter. If you have a shallow pan like I did, make sure they're in a single layer so all the cloves will be covered by the oil. If you're using a ramekin this won't be a concern.
  • Pour over enough EVOO to completely cover the garlic.
  • Place a few sprigs of thyme on the top, then place in the oven to cook for 2 hours.
  • To serve, drop a big clove into a nourishing bowl, make salad dressings with it, or simply spread it on some toast.

Notes

Storage of any leftover confit should happen as soon as possible. You’ll need to get it to room temperature first. To help this along you can pour the confit into a jar and sit it in a bowl with some iced water for a few minutes. Then, pop the lid on the jar and put it in the fridge. Use it up within four days and discard any leftovers. See the FAQ section for more details.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cloves | Calories: 42kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 112mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 0.5mg

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