Garlic confit

Garlic confit

The Produce Companion
500 ml
Jeremy Simons


Quantity Ingredient
3 garlic bulbs
a few basil sprigs
extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar


  1. Separate the garlic into cloves. Put them (unpeeled) into a saucepan with the basil and pour over enough oil to just cover. Add the vinegar and bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 40 minutes, by which time the garlic will be soft.
  2. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the hot garlic and basil into a warm sterilised jar, then pour over the hot oil. Seal and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. (The oil may congeal in the refrigerator, but this is not a sign of spoilage.) To use the garlic, squeeze the cloves from their skins and stir into mayonnaise, rub over bruschetta, spread over fish or stir through pasta or steamed vegetables. Use the oil in dressings or for cooking chicken.

Cook’s note

  • True confit is cooking and preserving an ingredient in its own fat – hence the traditional French duck or goose confit. But the term can be stretched to include the slow cooking of any food in oil. While Mediterranean countries have been preserving in olive oil for years, mainly due to the ready availability of the oil, it is now known that some bacteria can survive under oil. Food with low acidity is particularly susceptible, hence the addition of vinegar to some foods. It is best to store confit preserves in the refrigerator, and for a shorter time than other preserves. It is also imperative that the food is submerged in oil – so when you remove some of your confit from the jar and some of the remaining confit becomes exposed, top up with a little extra oil before resealing.
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