Cherry tomato confit on a plate.

June 9, 2022

Cherry Tomato Confit

Tomato confit is a simple way to slow roast lots of tomatoes at once. There are so many ways to use them including pasta, pizza, bruschetta and more.

Tomato confit is a simple way to slow roast lots of tomatoes at once. There are so many ways to use them including pasta, pizza, bruschetta and more.

Cherry tomato confit on a plate.

Having too many tomatoes isn’t a thing. That’s because there are endless ways to cook, bake and roast them. Or you can just leave them raw assuming they are at peak ripeness.

We are nearing closer to that sweet spot of summer when there are tomatoes everywhere. It’s in these moments that I love a big batch preservation recipe. Especially one that gives you lots of different ways to put those tomatoes to use including the olive oil they cook in.

This easy confit recipe ticks all the boxes, so you should definitely add it to your tomato season rotation.

Confit tomatoes in a baking pan.

What Is Confit?

A French cooking technique, the word confit means to preserve. Most often you will see it associated with meats and specifically duck. When you confit duck, you cook it slowly at a low temperature in it’s own fat.

For vegetables like tomatoes, you can confit in olive oil. They don’t have to be completely submerged. Actually, as the tomatoes cook they release some of their juices. And the result is this incredibly flavorful oil that is just as useful as the actual tomatoes.

Ingredients including tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper.

Ingredients & Substitutions

This is what you need:

  • Tomatoes: The best fresh tomatoes for this recipe are cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes. It doesn’t matter what color they are—red, yellow or orange. If you have super ripe small tomatoes that have some soft spots and are slightly past their prime, this is a great way to rescue them.
  • Garlic: Six cloves may sound like a lot, but when you roast garlic, it mellows. You can take a clove with its peel on and push down with the side of your chef’s knife to smash it. Then that makes it very easy to peel. By smashing the cloves, you give the garlic a head start to mingle with the tomatoes and oil.
  • Olive oil: Since this is only a 6-ingredient recipe, you want to use the highest quality ingredients possible. That includes extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Thyme: My first choice is to use fresh thyme sprigs. They add just the right amount of light fresh herb flavor. If you only have dried thyme, sprinkle the tomatoes with just 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Red pepper flakes add a touch of heat. I am a big fan of adding them to roasted tomatoes and tomato sauce.
  • Salt & pepper: In addition to the thyme and red pepper flakes, I season the tomatoes with kosher salt and black pepper.
Tomatoes in a rectangular baking pan before and after they are slow roasted.

How To Make Cherry Tomato Confit

There isn’t anything challenging about this recipe other than the long cook time. But your patience will be rewarded. Trust me.

  1. Preheat the oven.  A low and slow roast is key to confit. That’s why the oven is only at 250 degrees F.
  2. Arrange the tomatoes and garlic in the rectangular baking dish or pan. They should fit snuggly next to each other in a single layer.
  3. Pour the olive oil over the tomatoes and garlic.
  4. Scatter the thyme sprigs on top of the tomatoes and sprinkle with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
  5. Roast the tomatoes for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. They are ready when they are very wrinkled and juicy.

How To Use The Tomatoes

  • Pasta is the most obvious way to serve the tomatoes. Cook your noodles until they are al dente. In the last few minutes they are simmering, start heating the tomatoes in a large skillet over low heat. Then toss in the pasta. Finish it with grated Parmesan.
  • Pizza: The tomatoes are fantastic for a pizza topping. Or they will be so soft that you can even take a fork and mash them into a chunky, almost sauce to spread on the crust.
  • Bruschetta: Smear ricotta on sliced toasted bread. Next spoon on the tomato confit and season with flaky sea salt and black pepper. You can add fresh basil leaves too.
  • Burrata is a lovely soft cheese made from mozzarella and cream. It is beautiful torn and devoured with the tomatoes and a loaf of crusty bread.
  • Grains: Similar to pasta, you can stir the confit into a bowl of cooked grains like farro or barley. Avoid quinoa because it is too fine.
  • Chicken, Meat or Fish: You can top a protein whether it is grilled, baked or roasted with the tomatoes. You’re basically treating it like a sauce or condiment.
  • Don’t forget the olive oil! That’s because it’s infused with all the garlic and tomato flavors. You can drizzle it or use it in salad dressing.
Tomato confit in a bowl.

Storage

You can store the tomatoes in an airtight container like a jar in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.  In the cold temperature of the fridge, the olive oil will become solid. I put it out on the kitchen counter before I am planning to use the confit, so then the oil will turn to liquid again.

If you are warming the tomatoes in a skillet before you use them, the oil will turn to liquid pretty quickly over low heat.

More Tomato Recipes

30-Minute Roasted Tomatoes
Slow-Roasted Tomatoes
Sheet Pan Cherry Tomato Gnocchi
Marinated Tomatoes
Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette
Burrata with Roasted Tomatoes
Burst Tomato Pasta

Print
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Cherry tomato confit on a plate.

Cherry Tomato Confit

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 – 2-1/2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 5-35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Tomato confit is a simple way to slow roast lots of tomatoes at once. There are so many ways to use them including pasta, pizza, bruschetta and more.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 pounds cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 11/2 cups olive oil
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Arrange the garlic and tomatoes in a 13-inch by 9-inch rectangular baking pan, spreading them into a single layer.
  3. Pour in the olive oil.
  4. Then scatter the thyme sprigs on top and season with red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper.
  5. Roast the tomatoes for 2 to 2-1/2 hours until they are wrinkled, juicy and have deepened in color.

Notes

Let the tomatoes cool to room temperature before transferring to an airtight container. They can be stored in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

The olive oil will become solid in the chill of the fridge. Let it sit at room temperature to turn to liquid again.

Keywords: tomato confit, confit tomatoes

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