CONFITED CHERRY (OR OTHERWISE) TOMATOES By: Ada Broussard To make the time heating up your kitchen worthwhile, confit tomatoes when you have enough to nearly fill a pan or tray. For a true confit (meaning cooked in oil), your tomatoes should be completely submerged in olive oil, but we’re here to tell you that any version of tomato and oil submersion will yield a delicious end-product that you’ll be happy to retrieve from the freezer. As you’ll see, this is more of a method than a precise recipe, meant to bend to whatever tomatoes crowd your countertops. The use-cases for these frozen, semi-dehydrated, and oily tomatoes are endless.
- 1-2 cups olive oil
- 2-10 lbs. fresh tomatoes; cherries tomatoes kept whole, plum tomatoes sliced in half long-ways, and large slicers quartered
- 3 – 10 cloves of garlic, peeled
- Any combination of fresh or dried herbs you’d like including: thyme, oregano, basil, or bay leaf
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Several small freezer-safe containers like ziploc bags, tupperware, or silicone molds
- Place a rack in the center of your oven, and preheat to 215 degrees F.
- Gather your tomatoes, and put them on a large foil-lined baking sheet or roasting pan, like a pyrex.
- Pour 1-2 cups of olive oil over the tomatoes. The amount you use will depend on how generous you’re feeling, the amount of tomatoes you’re using, and the size of your pan. Lucky for you, there isn’t a right or wrong answer.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper over the tomatoes, and scatter your herbs. With clean hands or a spoon, toss the tomatoes, making sure oil and salt coats each tomato. If using sliced tomatoes, arrange them so a cut side is down.
- Bake for 2 to 3.5 hours, or until the tomatoes are pleasantly shriveled, but still maintaining some shape. If your tomatoes are cut, flip them over for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
- Once cooked, let tomatoes and oil cool to room temperature, and discard herbs. Divide tomatoes and garlic into several freezable containers. I find that having about ½ a cup of tomatoes is a good amount to defrost at a time. Pour remaining oil over tomatoes into your containers of choice.
- Refrigerate and use within 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 3 months.
How to use? Top a block of goat cheese or feta with warmed tomato confit. Serve with crackers or bread. Make a tomato galette, and delight everyone around. Use as the base for a dressing to coat a pasta or a grain salad, not being afraid to also add raw tomatoes to the mix, too. Defrost, and scoop out the tomatoes and some oil and add to a quiche or scatter around a roasted chicken. Use the oil to make a vinaigrette and serve over more tomatoes with freshly grated parmesan and plenty of fresh herbs.