My latest exploits with food involve low-carb choices, a la Atkins. Shortly before I started that I was introduced to this very easy condiment.
Simply put, it is peeled garlic that has been slowly simmered in olive oil for 45-60 minutes. In the process, the garlic is preserved for future use.
- Put peeled garlic in a small saucepan, or use a larger one depending on the size of your batch.
- Cover with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- Put on stove at lowest heat you can manage. You should get very small bubbles, but you don’t want the oil to boil, otherwise the garlic will scorch. I have an induction cooktop, and it is extremely easy to boil oil, even on the lowest setting. I would suggest either move the pot so it is not completely on the burner, or use a water bath to keep the oil from getting too hot; monitor it carefully to make sure you have it right (i.e. don’t walk away too soon).
- Leave on this low heat for 45 minutes or longer. The idea is that when you stick a fork in a clove, it goes in easily and is not hard.
- Take the pot off the heat when the cloves are soft enough to spread on bread.
- Ladle the garlic into a clean (and preferably sterilized) canning jar or bowl with a lid. Pour as much more of the oil in the jar as will fit.
That’s it. The oil is wonderfully fragrant with garlic, and I use on just about everything for extra flavor. If you find that you use more of the oil than the garlic, just add more as it gets low, and it will pick up the garlic flavor, also.
Some ideas for use:
- Use the oil anywhere you would use butter — I made some bowtie pasta, put a tablespoon of the oil on it and tossed, smashed a couple of cloves in it, and put salt and pepper to taste. Yummy!
- Spread the garlic cloves on anything you like garlic — I smear them on bread, roasts, sandwiches.
- Chop up in salad and dressing.