I heard once that there’s no such thing as a stupid question.
I disagree. There absolutely are stupid questions. But even the dumbest query has merit and deserves to be answered. To prove it, I tried really hard to come up with the very stupidest question I could:
Is there a wrong way to eat garlic?
The answer, clearly, is no. (Unless you happen to be a vampire, in which case, whatcha doing reading a blog post about garlic?) Garlic goes in everything. I don’t trust recipes that don’t call for it, and double the amount called for as a general rule. There’s a reason one of the coolest restaurants I’ve ever been to is the hilariously-named Stinking Rose in Los Angeles: It’s a garlic-themed eatery, a business plan I can fully get behind. (Those baby back ribs dance through my dreams with some regularity. It’s great.)
I did, however, just discover a NEW way to eat garlic. That doesn’t happen much anymore, but it’s a special treat when it does. I’ve been working my way through the backlog of articles and recipes at Saveur magazine, and in doing so, stumbled on an old recipe for garlic confit. You ever come across something so perfect it seems like it was made specifically for you? This is one of those recipes for me.
Garlic? I like that. Olive oil? I like that, too. (Good thing, I guess.)
Garlic poached in olive oil until the outside is caramelized and pleasantly chewy, leaving the inside gooey and perfect for smearing across a hunk of crusty bread? My goodness.
You may want to keep the Tums and chewing gum handy, though.
Saveur Magazine’s Simple Garlic Confit
You’ll need two ingredients:
- One cup of garlic cloves, which I pulled from about three good-sized heads
- Two cups of good olive oil. I used a combination of Harvest Cobrancosa, a lovely and robust unflavored oil, and Harvest Garlic because I didn’t have as much Cobrancosa as I thought I did and doubling down on garlic is always a good idea
Peel the cloves, but keep them whole; this is a great time to use that funny rubber garlic-peeling sleeve that every cook should have in his or her kitchen JumbleDrawer. (We sell them, too, if your JumbleDrawer is lacking.)
Simmer the garlic and oil together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the cloves are browned and very tender, about 35-40 minutes. I stirred mine periodically to ensure even browning and because I wasn’t doing anything else, and you certainly can do the same if you feel so inclined, but it’s not necessary.
Let cool, and transfer cloves to an airtight container; add the cooking oil to cover. Saveur says the confit will last two weeks in the fridge, and maybe it will in someone else’s house. My wife and I ate our first batch in two days.