For the confit garlic:
Very simply, using your hand, push down on the head of the garlic to separate the cloves. Once separated, pick out the nice fat ones. Place the olive oil into a small pan and warm so that it comes to blood temperature – ie no more than 40 degrees. Place the cloves with the skin still on into the oil and cook them slowly for 1½ hours on a low temperature – when you stick your finger into the oil it should feel warm but not too hot to touch. Cook for 1-2 hours until you can gently squeeze the cloves and see that they are very soft. Serve with the skin on. Confit garlic tastes great squeezed over roast chicken and many kinds of fish too.
For the rabbit:
Wash the spinach and dry it on kitchen towels. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan, add the spinach and garlic and cook until the spinach is wilted. Add the finely chopped shallot and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Lay the rabbit saddles flat on the crépinette and season with salt and pepper. Add the spinach mixture along the inside of the fillet on the skin side, then roll everything up like a spring roll and tie with kitchen string to secure tightly.
Warm some olive oil in a pan and colour the rabbit until golden on all sides. Put into the oven and roast for 6-8 minutes until just cooked, adding the rabbit kidneys to the pan after the first 5 minutes. Take out of the oven and leave to rest in a warm place for 2-3 minutes.
Heat a heavy-bottomed pan then add some rapeseed oil. Add the spring onion and sauté for 30 seconds to a minute. Add a touch of salt, and place the pan in the oven, still at 180C/Gas Mark 4, for 2-3 minutes.
Layer a few sprigs of spring onions on each plate, then add the confit garlic and chopped olives. Place the rabbit on top of the spring onions and serve.
Rabbit leg pastilla:
In the featured picture I’ve served the rabbit with a rabbit leg pastilla too, which involves braising the rabbit leg, chilling it and then placing it in a “pate a bric” – a cross between filo dough and a crêpe – and then deep frying it. It’s a bit more cheffy but this dish is equally good without it.