This cherry tomato confit is a true definition of the taste of summer! Simple, flavorful, and can be used in endless ways!
Its tomato season and cherry tomatoes are in real abundance right now! And what better way to use them up than this simple cherry tomato confit? Infused with oil, garlic, and herbs, and bursting with summer flavor, the uses for this cherry tomato confit are truly endless! Whats more, you will certainly find yourself making this confit over and over again.
This cherry tomato confit is a perfect recipe for using peak-season plump cherry, plum, or grape tomatoes when in abundance. It's great for making ahead and keeps well for up to 2 weeks (make sure its refrigerated) or even frozen for up to 3 months.
What is Tomato Confit?
The word "confit" typically refers to a French-style cooking and preservation technique which involves slow cooking of meat (such as pork) or poultry (such as chicken or duck) in their own fats.
When it comes to slow-roasting of vegetables, confit can be made using olive oil (rather than fats) and herbs. Cherry tomato confit involves the slow-cooking of cherry tomatoes in olive oil, garlic, and dried herbs. As they are baking, tomatoes soften and start to burst, releasing their flavorful juices into the herb and garlic-infused oil.
The result is a batch of delicious cherry tomato confit which can be made ahead when tomatoes are in abundance and can be used in so many recipes!
Roasted Tomatoes vs. Tomato Confit
The main difference between roasting tomatoes and tomato confit is the baking (oven) temperature and amount of oil used. Baking tomatoes typically involves less oil and higher oven temperatures (and therefore, less baking time). (Check out this Roasted Tomatoes, Buffalo Mozzarella, and Pine Nut Appetizer).
Tomato confit requires an abundance of oil, lower oven temperatures, and therefore, longer baking time. The result is super flavorful, juicy tomatoes, that ooze their juices into herb and garlic-infused olive oil.
Uses of Cherry Tomato Confit
The uses for this cherry tomato confit are endless! Here are some ideas:
- As a summer appetizer (with buffalo mozzarella, burrata, fresh basil, or pine nuts)
- As a side dish, with other grilled vegetables
- As bruschetta or crostini topping
- Added to salad
- As pasta sauce
- As pizza topping
- Drizzled over grilled, barbecued, fried, or baked protein such as meats, poultry, and fish
- In breads, toasts, burgers, and wraps
- On its own, by the spoonful (especially in summer!)
Ingredients and Substitutions
Tomatoes - You can use cherry, baby plum, or grape tomatoes in any color. Basically, you can whatever is in season and in abundance. Try to use plump tomatoes if possible. Oven time highly depends on their size and I usually bake them until they become wrinkly (but not completely burst).
Olive oil - You will need a lot of olive oil for this cherry tomato confit (tomatoes literally need to bathe in it). You do not need to use the highest quality, or most expensive type, but I would still recommend using good quality extra-virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
Garlic - I like to use peeled, whole garlic cloves, smashed using the back of a knife. You can use more or less garlic according to your tastes.
Herbs - You can use a mixture of dry and/or fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, basil, or oregano (whatever you have available). I like using a mixture of fresh rosemary and dried thyme. You will also need salt and freshly-ground black pepper. As a general rule, use 1 tsp. of dried herbs for every 1 tbsp. of fresh herbs.
How to Make Cherry Tomato Confit
- Preheat the oven to a low temperature (130°C/250F).
- Wash and drain cherry tomatoes. Peel and mash garlic cloves.
- Place tomatoes, garlic, and dried herbs in a deep baking dish.
- Top with olive oil and add salt and pepper.
- Bake until tomatoes are wrinkly but not completely burst. This typically requires 2 - 2.5 hours but highly depends on the size of tomatoes (smaller cherry tomatoes need less time).
- Cool at room temperature before storing in glass jars along with oil and herbs + garlic. (Remove tomato vine before storing).
- Store leftover confit in a refrigerator immediately.
How Can I store Tomato Confit? How Long does it Last?
Make sure that the confit has completely cooled before storing. Store cherry tomato confit, with oil, garlic and herbs, in airtight glass jars in a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
This recipe can easily be made in a large batch (when tomatoes are in abundance) and stored for up to 14 days in a refrigerator or frozen (see below).
Due to the risk of botulism from garlic in an oil mixture, make sure to refrigerate cherry tomato confit immediately if not using.
How to Freeze Tomato Confit
For even longer storage time, you can freeze this cherry tomato confit in an airtight glass jar for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight before using and reheat in the microwave.
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Cherry Tomato Confit
- 520 g cherry tomatoes (approx 3 cups)
- 180 mL extra virgin olive oil (¾ cup)
- 6-7 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- 1 tsp. salt
- sprig fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp. dried rosemary)
- ½ tsp. dried thyme
- freshly-ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 130°C (250F). Wash and drain cherry tomatoes.
- Place tomatoes in a deep baking dish. Add peeled and mashed garlic cloves, thyme, rosemary, and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 2 to 2½ hours (depending on tomato size), or until tomatoes are wrinkly (but not completely burst).
- Allow to cool at room temperature before storing tomatoes with oil, garlic, and herbs in glass jars. Refrigerate immediately if not using in an airtight glass jar for up to 2 weeks.