Cherry Tomato Confit
on Jun 22, 2023, Updated Jul 10, 2023
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If you’re looking for a simple way to roast a lot of tomatoes, you have to try this tomato confit recipe. The prep takes less than 5 minutes and it all happens in the actual baking dish. The tomatoes slowly roast in the oven at a low temperature in a mix of olive oil, garlic cloves, fresh herbs, salt and pepper. What you end up with are tender tomatoes that deliver on flavor and tomato-garlic infused oil.
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
It solves the too many tomatoes “problem.” It’s easy to go overboard on tomatoes when they’re at their peak during the summer. And you should be consuming all the tomatoes you can since they are that good. When you confit tomatoes, you can cook a lot of them at once and extend their lifespan.
You don’t need to cut the tomatoes. This recipe is so simple, and you can leave the tomatoes whole. They roast in the oven and soften and wrinkle in the heat as their flavor becomes more intense.
Your patience will be rewarded. There’s nothing challenging about cooking tomatoes this way other than the wait. Since they are roasted at a low temperature, they need at least a couple hours or so in the oven.
There are lots of ways to eat them. Stir these tomatoes into pasta or spoon them onto bread. They are incredibly tasty and tomatoey. They can be a condiment, starter, side dish or part of a main.
What Is Confit?
A French cooking technique, the word confit means to preserve. It’s pronounced kon-fee. 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 its own fat.
For vegetables like tomatoes, you can confit in olive oil. They don’t have to be completely submerged. 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 & 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.
- 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. You can also use fresh rosemary.
- 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.
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.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. A low and slow roast is key to confit.
- Put the tomatoes and garlic into a rectangular baking dish or pan and pour over the olive oil. Use a spoon to stir them around in the oil and spread them out. They should fit snuggly next to each other in a single layer. Sprinkle on the red pepper flakes, salt and pepper followed by the thyme sprigs.
- Roast the tomatoes for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. They are ready when they are very wrinkled and juicy.
How To Use Confit 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 cheese.
- 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 the tomatoes like a sauce or condiment.
- Hummus: Scoop hummus into a bowl or spread it on a serving plate and top it with the tomatoes. They are wonderful with roasted garlic hummus.
- 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. I love it with balsamic vinegar.
You can store the tomatoes in an airtight container like a jar in the refrigerator up to 1 week. 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.
You can freeze confit tomatoes up to 2 months. As with freezing any leftovers, think about how you’re going to eat them. They will thaw faster if you divide them into smaller containers to freeze rather than putting everything in a single large container. No matter how you are storing them, fridge or freezer, let the tomatoes cool to room temperature.
More Tomato Recipes
30-Minute Roasted Tomatoes
Sheet Pan Cherry Tomato Gnocchi
Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette
Cherry Tomato Sauce
Homemade Stewed Tomatoes
Roma Tomato Sauce
Did you make this roasted tomato recipe? Please leave a rating or comment below. Thanks!
Cherry Tomato Confit
- 2 pounds cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1-1/2 cups olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- Put the tomatoes and garlic in a 13-inch by 9-inch rectangular baking pan.
- Pour in the olive oil. Stir the tomatoes and garlic into the oil. Spread them into a single layer. They will fit tightly next to each other.
- Season with red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper. Scatter the thyme sprigs on top.
- Roast the tomatoes for 2-1/2 to 3 hours until they are wrinkled and juicy and have deepened in color.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.