Tomato Confit is my favourite way to preserve summer. You only need 5 minutes max to prepare it all and the rest is done by the oven. The result is a flavour-boosted, sweet and juicy tomato, perfect to jazz up a countless number of dishes. You can eat it on toast, with pasta, as a dip topping, with meat, with fish, in sandwiches… And the remaining oil is so incredible! It’s very versatile too and I bet you will use till the last drop.
What is Confit?
As I also explained in the Garlic Confit blogpost, confit is a cooking technique that consists of cooking an ingredient in fat (or sugar, as is the case with fruit) at a low temperature. It’s a technique originally from French cuisine and that was used (and is used) as a preservation method when there were no fridges so that food would last longer.
In the confit garlic recipe we cooked the garlic on the stove, but today I wanted to show you that to maintain a low temperature you can also use this technique in the oven. This option works great with more delicate produce such as today’s cherry tomatoes, since if we cooked them on the stove would have to stir them and this could crush them, while in the oven we don’t have to do anything at all.
Which Tomatoes to Use
For this tomato confit recipe, you can use any type of tomato and it’s a great recipe to use those ripe late-summer tomatoes that may not have the best look but they do taste amazingly. So it’s perfect to avoid food waste in addition to being and ideal way to preserve the best summer tomatoes for later colder months.
However, I generally use cherry tomatoes because I find that their size makes them more versatile than bigger tomatoes (for example, I can easily integrate them into vegetable salads, with pasta and rice). Large tomatoes are perfect as a side dish, they look great besides the amazing flavour they have. When I use non-cherry tomatoes, I cut them in half and if they are very large into quarters, but the process would be the same.
Ways to Use Tomato Confit
As a kitchen staple, it can be used in so many ways! You’ll see that when you make it, it’ll disappear in the blink of an eye. Here you have some dishes ideas where I love to use garlic confit:
- With bread. A toast with the tomato on top is simple, but to die for too. You can crumble some feta on top of it, or put some avocado as a base, whatever you like, and you will have a delicious quick breakfast or dinner.
- Use it as a topping for your hummus or legume dips, such as my white bean super creamy dip, it’s the most delicious garnish.
- It’s also delicious on top of cheese dips. For example, you can substitute the olive topping for today’s tomato confit in my Garlic Confit Goat Cheese Dip.
- It works great as a pizza base or as a topping. An idea would be to make a pizza with a pesto cheesy base and then top it with tomato confit after removing it from the oven.
- Mix it in the dough of my no-knead homemade focaccia or put it on top before baking it, unreal.
- In sandwiches they are also a delight, both vegetable sandwiches such as a caprese one, or for example with serrano ham and pesto or with hamburgers.
- If you serve it with grilled fish or meat, you will take the dish to another level.
- As a pasta sauce, you don’t need to add anything else.
What to Do with the Tomato Infused Oil
¡DO NOT TROW IT AWAY! If you have used a good extra virgin olive oil, then you can reuse it for many other recipes (in this chickpea recipe idea that I saved in Insta highlights, you can see that I used it to sauté vegetables for example). As the tomatoes are cooked at a low temperature, we don’t reach the smoking point of the olive oil, and consequently it doesn’t get burnt and we can re-use it.
Thanks to cooking the tomato at a low temperature, we are also infusing the oil with the confit ingredients at the same time. On the one hand, we are going to use this oil to preserve the tomato and, on the other hand, you may have leftover oil for if your jar is not big enough. In any case, this oil is liquid gold so, regardless of whether you have leftover oil from the beginning or from having used all the tomatoes and there’s some oil left in the jar, use it!
Some ideas on how to use this oil: dressings and vinaigrettes, with pasta, to marinate, on roasted vegetables (both before and after roasting), as a bread dip, when cooking eggs, meat, fish or sautéing veggies (use this oil instead of regular oil), the possibilities are endless.
Additions to the Tomato Confit
Besides the tomatoes, you can throw your favourite herbs and spices into the confit. Today I have opted for thyme, and I’ve also added a head of garlic and 3 shallots that I had in my pantry.
The garlic and the shallots not only leave a beautiful aroma in the oil, and therefore in the tomatoes, but they also get confit themselves and you can use them as I suggested in the garlic confit recipe (I used the garlic that came out of today’s confit in a traditional gazpacho, so the garlic flavour was very mild, and in pesto made with my father-in-law’s basil. As for the shallots, I chopped them and ate them with pasta and some of the cherry tomato confit).
Other delicious combinations are black peppercorns and bay leaf for example. Add or replace thyme with other Mediterranean herbs such as oregano and rosemary. You can even be more exotic and opt for a more aromatic option using star anise, cinnamon, cloves, and white peppercorns. Lemon zest also works great!
How to Store Tomato Confit
Once the tomato is soft but hasn’t bursted yet, it’s ready. Let it cool completely and store in a jar. My preference is an airtight glass jar (if you want to sterilize it or use it straight out from the dishwasher, even better(. From here to the fridge.
It keeps well for 1 month (I haven’t tried it for longer) but you can also do a water-bath canning so it lasts for much longer or freeze portions.
Bear in mind that fat solidifies in the fridge, so the oil may harden and this is expected. Returning it to room temperature will make it liquid again. And in fact, so that you can fully enjoy its flavour, you should use it at room temperature anyways rather than cold.
If you make this Tomato Confit recipe, be sure to leave a comment and rate it. Hearing from you is everything! Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram, I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
- 700 g cherry tomatoes - one or multiple varieties (see notes)
- 1 head of garlic - top cut off (store the remainder pieces of garlic cloves for another use)
- 3 shallots - skin off
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- 2 tsp flaky sea salt
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - enough to cover the tomatoes. Use a mild flavoured variety.
- Preheat the oven to 130ºC.
- In a baking or oven safe dish, put the cherry tomatoes, the shallots, the garlic and the thyme. Sprinkle with salt and pour olive oil on top until the tomatoes are just covered.
- Bake for 1.5-2 hours or until the tomatoes are soft and the skin is just about to blister.
- Let them cool completely and transfer them to a jar and cover them with the cooking oil. If you have leftover oil, save it too as it is a spectacular infused oil.
- Keep in the fridge for 1 month (keep in mind that the fat in the fridge solidifies, so the oil may harden and this is expected. Returning it to room temperature will make it liquid again). You can also can it or freeze it. Enjoy!
- You can use any type of tomato. I generally use cherry tomatoes because I find that their size makes them more versatile than bigger tomatoes (for example, I can easily integrate them into vegetable salads, with pasta and rice). Large tomatoes are perfect as a side dish though. When I use non-cherry tomatoes, I cut them in half and if they are very large into quarters, but the process would be the same.
- In the blogpost, you have a lot of ideas to use both the tomato confit and the leftover oil.