Garlic Confit

During the end of June this summer, I harvested wagon loads of garlic.

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The first wagon full.

Then I got smart and started trimming the stalks at the garlic bed.

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The second load.

I ended up with two full baskets of garlic.

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Basket one.

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Basket two.

I had had my eye on this recipe for some time.     I am a magazine ripper, meaning I have loose pages ripped from foodie mags everywhere.    I have a box that I try to contain them in, but they float out of baskets and bowls in the kitchen, spread out from baskets in the living room,  and over run my bedside table.

Every once in a while, I will remember a specific one our just happen to run across it.   (Is that a form of Baader-Meinhof, Christianne, because it always seems I rediscover them at the perfect time.)

Although I did not rediscover this recipe in June, it was perfect timing to make holidays gifts.

Garlic Confit by Grace Parisi
From Food & Wine, October 2011

6 large heads of garlic, cloves peeled (2 cups)
To get two cups, I used about twelve heads garlic.
6 thyme sprigs
3 small bay leaves
3 dried red chiles, such as chiles de arbol
I used Thai peppers.
2 c.  pure olive oil

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan.

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Simmer over low heat until the garlic is tender but not browned, about 30 minutes. Let cool.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic, herbs and chiles to three 1/2-pint canning jars, dividing the chiles and herbs between the three jars. Pour the cooking oil on top, seal and refrigerate for up to 4 months.

Do you how long it takes to separate and peel two cups of garlic?   Luckily, it was a beautiful day and I sat on the patio step and peeled away.

As this was simmering, it made the whole house smell like a trattoria.

I am pretty excited to say that besides the olive oil, this is a totally locally made recipe.   I clipped the thyme from the herb garden, plucked the bay leaves (that were grown on my bay laurel tree) from where they were drying overhead in the kitchen as I did with the Thai chili peppers that were also hanging.

I couldn’t wait for them to cool completely so I fished a clove out and spread it on a cracker.   Delicious!

Besides a cracker spread you can use it these ways according to Parisi:

  • Mash the garlic into butter and spread on bread.
  • Slip under chicken skin before roasting.  (For you oenophiles out there, pair the roasted chicken with a rich white like an Alsace Pinot Gris.)
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Garlic Confit from Eliot’s Eats.

I think I would mix it with a little soft cheese too.   Or, as previously stated, eat it right out of the jar on crackers or bread.

After the jars are refrigerated, the olive oil turns into a solid.   Make a great spread by just spooning out the solid confit and smash or puree it and then just spread on toasts or crackers.

(I only got about two half-pint jars but if I have time to make more before the holidays, I will process this in the small quarter-pint-size jelly jars.)


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