Slow-cooked and packed with tons of flavor, Cherry Tomato Confit, can add a dash of flavor to any meal whether it’s the main course or an appetizer. I love cherry tomatoes and found that this confit is a great way to preserve cherry tomatoes at the end of the season. It's a simple recipe but packed full of flavor and it takes only minutes to prepare before popping it in the oven.
Why This Recipe Tastes So Good
The key to this delicious dish is sweet ripe cherry tomatoes and delicious extra virgin olive oil. Whole cherry tomatoes are slowly cooked in great-tasting olive oil along with garlic and fresh herbs, to create a dish that has incredible flavor. Confit tomatoes are a great way to enjoy and preserve the taste of summer tomatoes. Serve them with Gougeres or as a topping for Baked Eggs Florentines.
What is Confit
The word confit is a French word and confit cooking is a French method for preserving food by slowly cooking it in a liquid, typically its own fat. For instance, to make duck confit, duck legs are roasted for hours in duck fat. Vegetable confit, such as garlic confit or carrot confit, is cooked in high-quality extra virgin olive oil.
Slow cooking these cherry tomatoes in olive oil are one of the best ways to cook tomatoes and because they last in the refrigerator for 6 weeks they're great for holiday entertaining.
Ingredients You’ll Need for This Confit
Here is what you’ll need for this easy recipe:
- Cherry Tomatoes: Choose tomatoes that are already sweet and all about the same size especially if using different varieties.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: Choose a good quality olive oil that has a great taste. If the bottle has been sitting in your cabinet for a while taste it to make sure it is still good and hasn’t gone bad.
- Garlic Cloves: Garlic becomes sweet when it’s cooked and will add an overall nice flavor to the oil and the tomatoes
- Fresh Herbs: For this recipe, I used fresh thyme sprigs because it tastes great with the tomatoes and garlic, but you can also use fresh basil and fresh rosemary.
- Kosher Salt: The salt will bump up the flavor of all the other ingredients. Though not called for in this recipe you can also add black pepper or a pinch of red pepper flakes if you'd like a little heat.
Tomato season produces a variety of cherry tomatoes. For this recipe, I used a variety called Spark because they're incredibly sweet and have great flavor. Other recommended varieties include Juliet and Black Cherry. Whatever tomato you use make sure that you like the flavor.
How to Make Cherry Tomato Confit
Remove the stems from the cherry tomatoes. Wash them and pat them dry with paper towels or a clean dish towel.
Place the tomatoes in a single layer in a 3-quart or 4-quart baking dish.
Pour the olive oil into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the tomatoes. The amount of oil will vary depending on the size of your baking dish.
Nestle the fresh herbs and garlic into the tomatoes, and season with salt
Cook the tomatoes at a low temperature until tomatoes are tender but not fully burst; they should be soft, but not falling apart.
Allow the confit to cool then enjoy it right away or place it in airtight jars and store it in the refrigerator.
What To Do With Tomato Confit
Tomato confit is best served at room temperature where the olive oil is liquid. As a condiment, it's versatile and complements a range of dishes. Here are some ideas on how to use it.
- As a topping: Serve tomato confit over pasta garnished with plenty of grated parmesan cheese, or spoon it over grilled fish or roasted chicken.
- With cheese: Serve tomato confit with a cheese board as a spread for soft cheeses like ricotta or goat cheese.
- With toasted bread: this is one of my favorite ways to eat these tomatoes. Serve the confit with thick slices of grilled bread, or crispy, thin crostini, schmeared with your favorite cheese or drizzled with balsamic vinegar, or topped with fresh basil.
You can also use the infused oil to saute vegetables.
Pro Tips for Making This Recipe
- Use ripe small tomatoes
- Taste the tomatoes and the extra virgin olive oil before making this dish. Only use these ingredients if they taste good.
- If the garlic has a green stem in the center remove it before adding it to the pan. The green stem has a bitter flavor and you don’t want that flavor in the confit.
Recipe - Frequently Asked Questions
The tomato confit can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.
Yes, you can freeze the confit for up to 3 months. If you made a large batch divide the confit between two or three freezer-safe containers so you only have to thaw what you need. Allow the confit to thaw for 24 hours in the refrigerator and then bring it to room temperature before serving it as an appetizer.
The infused olive oil can be used to saute vegetables or to scramble eggs.
If You Like This Recipe, Try These Recipes
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Cherry Tomato Confit
- 2 pints (903 grams) cherry tomatoes red, orange, or yellow
- 1-1/4 cups extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 8 sprigs of thyme
- Preheat the oven to 300F.
- Slice each clove of garlic into three (3) pieces. Place the cherry tomatoes in a 3-quart baking dish in a single layer. Place the pieces of garlic and sprigs of thyme in between the tomatoes. Pour the olive oil over the tomatoes, then season the tomatoes with the kosher salt.
- Bake the tomatoes for 30 minutes. Gently stir the tomatoes so the tops of the tomatoes are now on the bottom. Bake the tomatoes for another 40-50 minutes until the tomatoes are shriveled up.
- Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let them cool to room temperature. If using the tomatoes immediately they can be eaten while still warm. If storing in the refrigerator let them cool to room temperature and spoon them into a 2 pint jar.
- The tomatoes are good in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.
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