I suffer when garlic season gets to the point where the cloves become soft, dry and past their prime. The green shoot in the middle changes the taste. . . I love young garlic, or even “young-ish” garlic. Since coming to live in France, I have never eaten so much garlic. Our family of four easily get through 2 heads per week.
In the spring I wait impatiently for the first fresh new garlic on market stalls. Then the garlic party starts and we eat masses of it until its gone until the following year. This is my favourite way to preserve garlic. This couldn’t be easier ! I may be addicted to this stuff.
I also freeze a bag of peeled cloves to use during the “down time”. They can be grated (using my handy microplane) straight from frozen. The fresh skins and stalks of new garlic can be kept in the freezer as well to pop into meat stocks.
Peel one or two heads of garlic and place the cloves in a heavy bottomed pan. Cover them with olive oil and slowly heat the oil. Cook on a very very low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour until they are knife tender. Leave to cool, pour into a clean glass jar and store for several weeks in the fridge. Make sure that the garlic is always covered with oil. Don’t forget to use the oil for cooking when the cloves are all used up 🙂
A few ways to use your garlic confit (though you will easily find ways to use it !) :
- spread the cloves on toasted bread and sprinkle with salt flakes and/or chili flakes
- toss the cloves and some of their oil through pasta
- mixed in with roasted vegetables
- blended into a home made mayonnaise (very delicious)
- spread over a piece of fish or meat
- flavour soups, sauces, dressings and dips
Solar oven notes: We do this in our solar oven whenever the sun is out and we have nothing else to cook. Almost fill a jam jar with garlic and pour over enough olive oil to cover the cloves. Place, uncovered in your solar oven just until some of the cloves start to rise to the top or they are knife tender. This could take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. When I do this in the solar oven their is a thin film of yummy stickiness that forms on the surface and sticks to the sides of the jar. My husband calls this “caramel d’ail” or garlic caramel 😉