Garlic Confit

Tomato tartines with garlic confit

Tomato tartines with garlic confit

Food matters. Where it comes from, what is in it and how it tastes. We don’t need to eat copious amounts of it neither do we need to throw away as much as we do – it is all about shopping wisely. I love finding new producers, makers and markets and when the chance came up to help with publicising our local food festival, I volunteered and I am so glad that I did. I met some wonderful local people and producers as well as the talented husband and wife team behind The Elephant Bakehouse. They ran a workshop as well as a stall and I am happy to say that the stall sold out well before the festival was over. They produce the most delicious varieties of artisan sourdough bread using local (as much as possible)  organic flour.

Scarum Mount Wholemeal Bread

Scarum Mount Wholemeal Bread from The Elephant Bakehouse

I bought a loaf of Sun and Flowers which was delicious with poached eggs from my favourite supplier at our weekly farmers market and the Sarum Mount which is a triple wholemeal. They also produce a Wellfield Rye made with white and rye flours and a Hazy Raisin.  The flavours are complex and the texture dense, chewy and so, so satisfying – no comparison can be made to the flabby mass produced sliced loaves which have never been touched by human hand. Duncan makes the bread himself and his wife looks after the rest of the business – they are both really passionate about their bread and with every reason. They are having trouble finding local premises (everything they have seen has had mould issues – not great for a bakehouse as this would kill off the starter) but I am hoping that their overwhelming success at the festival is a sign that the stars are lining up for them!

Update Summer 2014 – Elephant Bakehouse have found premises in Gleneldon Mews in Streatham from where theyhave built a loyal following and can also be found at the weekly Streatham Food Market on Saturday.

Scarum Mount from The Elephant Bakehouse

Scarum Mount from The Elephant Bakehouse

We only have the Sarum Mount left and I am slicing that thinner than Fagin in order to make it last. A recent rummage on-line led me to a tomato tartine for which this gorgeous bread is the perfect vehicle. A tartine is essentially an open faced sandwich and is lovely for lunch or a light supper at this time of year.

Garlic confit

Garlic confit

The star of the show, however, is this garlic confit – spread it on a toasted slice of good bread or squash it into a salad dressing; melt it into a tomato sauce – it lends a mellow savoury depth that belies it’s origin. The resultant oil can be used where you might want a more subtle hint of garlic. It only takes about 15 – 20 minutes from start to finish, giving off a gorgeous aroma to boot.

Garlic cloves

Garlic cloves

Poke a sharp knife or a toothpick into the bases of unpeeled cloves from a couple of heads of garlic – this prevents them from exploding.

Simmering the garlic cloves

Simmering the garlic cloves

Place in a small pan with a few sprigs of rosemary and cover with olive oil and simmer for 10-20 minutes. Cool, decant into a clean jar and refrigerate. That’s it. You now have a jar of umami which will add an evocative depth to your savoury concoctions.

Variety of tomatoes from the Farmers Market

Variety of tomatoes from the Farmers Market

Tomatoes steeping in dressing

Tomatoes steeping in dressing

For the delicious tomato tartines, make a dressing using olive oil,  pomegranate molasses (or balsamic vinegar), salt and pepper. Slice up some tomatoes and chop some herbs and let these steep in the dressing while you get on with the rest.

Garlic confit on toasted bread

Garlic confit on toasted bread

Squeeze out the soft garlic confit from its skin and slather over a couple of slices of toasted bread.

Tomatoes steeping in dressing

Tomatoes steeping in dressing

Top with the herby tangy sliced tomatoes and drizzle over some of the dressing. Pour yourself a little glass of rose and you could be in the South of France!

Tomato tartines with garlic confit

Tomato tartines with garlic confit

Garlic Confit

Barely adapted from Food52

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 heads of garlic
  • a few sprigs of rosemary
  • olive oil to cover (not virgin)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Break apart the heads of garlic and make a small slit or poke a hole into the bases of the unpeeled cloves to stop them from exploding.
  2. Place in a small pan with a few sprigs of rosemary and just cover with olive oil.
  3. Bring to a simmer and turn the heat very low, letting this putter away for 10 – 20 minutes depending on how thick the cloves are.
  4. They are ready when they yield easily to a knifepoint.
  5. Let cool and decant into a clean jar and refrigerate.

If you want to have more flavoured oil for dressings and drizzling, top up the jar with some extra virgin olive oil.

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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9 thoughts on “Garlic Confit

  1. Lovely post, Selma. And what a wonderful way to enjoy Duncan’s bread. I really hope they find some premises soon – we Streathamites can’t be left without a regular supply for long, not after their popularity this weekend!

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    • Thank you Pauline. Duncan did say that given a few days notice, loaves could be collected from them. I am going to have to take him up on that! Thank you for a wonderful Food Festival – I hope to get involved with the next one a little earlier if you will have me…

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  2. I love your posts Selma – I’m working in the Middle East at the moment and your gorgeous recipes are making me very homesick; at least the garlic confit is something I have half a chance of making here …… although getting this kind of delicious bread is another challenge I’m afraid!!

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    • Thank you for your kind words, Chronicler! I spent some time in Dubai many years ago and found the ingredients challenging. Now I wish I had spent some time learning to cook Arabic dishes…I will be posting a chicken recipe soon that you should be able to replicate – no goats cheese or artisan bread in sight!

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    • Thank you Jo – that is praise indeed coming from such a fabulous cook. I have read that olive oil has a low smoke point and that when you heat it the nutrients are lost. Your comment has made me think however, so I have amended the recipe to include topping it up the jar with EVOO after the confit has cooked. Do you use EVOO for all your cooking? I use a mild OO for sautéing and browning and use EVOO in dressings and to finish off a dish.

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  3. Thank you for stopping by my blog…that is how I found you! I am enchanted by your recipes and photographs and am happy to add you to my blogging friends. I enjoyed this bread story very much and look forward to many more wonderful posts.

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    • Thank you so much, Teresa – I loved your post and the accompanying photos on the figs – the recipe sounds gorgeous and I am going it give it a go this week – figs are (sadly not from neighbourhood trees) superb in the greengrocers at the moment, making your recipe very timely!

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  4. Pingback: Steamed Sea Bream “al Cartoccio” | Selma's Table

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