Gladys Soriano is the recipe developer, food stylist, and food photographer behind the Mediterranean-inspired blog Forks and Foliage. Here, she’s sharing authentic Lebanese dishes and recipes inspired by her love for Mediterranean flavors (originally published on Forks and Foliage). Take it away, Gladys!
This confit tomato with garlic and herbs is the best thing you can make this summer. The tomatoes become extra flavorful and juicy, the garlic turns into butter, and the olive oil is delicious drizzled on everything! This recipe is super easy, requiring only 5 minutes of prep time. It’s also naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan. So take advantage of all the summer tomatoes and make this versatile cherry tomato confit asap!
It is no secret that I am (always) VERY excited about tomato season. There is nothing that compares to a freshly picked, vibrant red, and deliciously ripe tomato. All it takes to please me is some bread, thick slices of sweet tomatoes, good olive oil, and some flakey salt. It’s the little things in life, right?
If you’re at all excited about tomato season, then you absolutely need to try my authentic fattoush salad — I am obsessed with it. I’m all about eating all the fresh tomatoes you can when they’re in season, but sometimes you just can’t keep up with the abundance of them in the summer, especially if you grow your own. Enter cherry tomato confit, the perfect way to enjoy copious amounts of tomatoes for weeks!
What Is Confit?
Confit, which is pronounced “con-fee”, is derived from the French word confit, which means to preserve. Many people think confit refers only to meat that is slowly cooked and preserved in its fat, such as the popular candied duck.
However, confit is a preservation method used not only for meat, but also for fruits and vegetables. In the case of tomatoes, they are slowly cooked in a large amount of olive oil, since they do not have any fat on their own. For a sweet confit, a concentrated sugar syrup is the liquid of choice.
A properly prepared confit can be stored at room temperature for weeks and months, making it an incredible option for preserving an abundance of seasonal ingredients.
What Is The Different Between Tomato Confit And Roasted Tomatoes?
There are a few main differences in the cooking process between tomato confit and roasted tomatoes: First of all, tomato confit is cooked at a very low temperature, usually around 200°F, while roasted tomatoes are generally cooked at a temperature of around 400° F or so. Secondly, to confit tomatoes, you need them fully submerged in olive oil. Whereas to roast tomatoes, you use a small amount of olive oil, just enough to coat them lightly. Thirdly, it takes more than two hours to confit tomatoes, whereas roasting tomatoes at a high temperatures requires a fraction of the time, about 15 minutes.
As a result, the slow cooked tomatoes retain much of their plump shape, color, and freshness. On the other hand, roasted tomatoes lose a lot of their moisture and they burst and shrivel up. They also caramelize due to the higher heat, altering their flavor. Both methods result in delicious tomatoes, but confit tomatoes are extra special and definitely worth trying out if you’ve never had them before!
Tomato Confit Ingredients
- 1 ½poundscherry tomatoes
- 2headsgarlic, peeled (20-25 cloves)
- 8sprigsfresh thyme
- 1teaspoonkosher salt
- 1 ½cupsextra virgin olive oil
Cherry tomatoes: Although you can confit any tomatoes, cherry tomatoes are exceptionally sweet and delicious, and they make the perfect little bites.
Garlic: You can make cherry tomato confit without garlic, but I love the flavor it infuses the oil with. I love to add tons of garlic that way that way I have lots of buttery garlic confit to spread on toast.
Fresh herbs: You can use whichever herbs you prefer. Here I’m making it with fresh thyme, but I also love making it with fresh rosemary or a combination of herbs.
Extra virgin olive oil: Many people say you don’t need to use your best olive oil when making cherry tomato confit and that you can use a cheap, mild olive oil. But I have to disagree! A good quality extra virgin olive oil will make it that much more delicious. Plus, we won’t be wasting any of the excess oil!
Instructions For How To Make Cherry Tomato Confit
- Preheat the oven to 225°F. The key is low and slow so don’t up the temperature to rush the process.
- Place the cherry tomatoes, garlic cloves, and fresh thyme sprigs in a small baking dish or oven-proof saucepan. Sprinkle salt evenly all over.
- Pour enough olive oil until the tomatoes are submerged. It’s okay if a little bit of the tomatoes are peaking above the oil, they will shrink down as they cook. Give everything a quick stir and let them settle. If needed, top with more olive oil.
- Place them in the oven for 2.5 to 3 hours, or until the tomatoes are soft, slightly wrinkly, but still plump. The garlic cloves should be easily mashed with a fork.
- Let the tomato confit cool completely before transferring to sterilized jars. Make sure everything is covered with oil and not exposed to air. Store the airtight jars in the fridge.
How To Use Cherry Tomato Confit
There are so many ways to use up your delicious tomato and garlic confit! Think of them as elevated tomatoes and use them in place of fresh tomatoes in some recipes! Here are some of my favorite ways to eat candied cherry tomato:
- Labneh toast: Toast up some good, crusty bread, then smear the soft confit garlic cloves on it like butter, spread some labneh all over, and top it with the plump confit tomatoes. You can smash them down if you want and drizzle a little more of the flavorful oil all over. This is probably my favorite way to eat it! If you want it dairy-free, omit the labneh or use a plant-based ricotta.
- Avocado toast: Top it with cherry tomato confit and a fried egg – it’s the ultimate breakfast.
- Whipped feta: Make some whipped feta and top it with a copious amount of tomato and garlic confit and lots of its olive oil and serve with crusty bread. My guests always devour this one!
- Pasta: For a quick dinner, boil some pasta in heavily salted water. Then in a separate pan, warm up the tomato and confit garlic with a good amount of its oil. Ladle in some of the starchy pasta water and mix to create a sauce. Drop the pasta in to coat with the sauce and grate some fresh parm on top!
- Topping for meat: Spoon some tomato confit over grilled chicken or fish to elevate your dinner in a pinch.
- Grazing board: Place a bowl of cherry tomato confit on a grazing board and enjoy it with crackers, cheese, and charcuterie board.
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