Although garlic is available year-round, fresh summer garlic has large cloves that are especially sweet and juicy. To preserve it, simmer the cloves with dried red chiles and fresh thyme in olive oil until tender, then pack them in the oil. Mash the garlic confit in butter and spread it on bread or slip it under chicken skin before roasting.
- 6 head garlic
- 6 sprig thyme
- 3 small bay leaves
- 3 dried red chiles
- 2 c. pure olive oil
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer over low heat until the garlic is tender but not browned, about 30 minutes. Let cool.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic, herbs, and chiles to three 1/2-pint canning jars. Pour the cooking oil on top, seal, and refrigerate for up to 4 months.