I’m not a raw tomato person. I know we’re in peak tomato season when it seems as though everyone is biting into giant tomatoes like apples, but that is not me. Sure, I’ll enjoy a hyper-seasonal heirloom tomato salad or I’ll tolerate raw tomatoes obscured in a veggie sandwich, but otherwise I much prefer them cooked. Or sun-dried (I have a sun-dried tomato obsession). My favorite way to enjoy tomatoes lately is this confit. A confit is simply a cooking method by which an ingredient is cooked submerged in a liquid (typically fat) at a low temperature.
This recipe is one of those recipes I tend to make weekly without thinking. I don’t even think of it as a recipe, but more like a way of life — something I do on autopilot. I pick up a carton or two of cherry tomatoes on every trip to the grocery store or farmer’s market, and inevitably, those scarlet orbs make their way into this confit on a weeknight when mindless, fuss-free cooking is all we can manage.
I highly recommend you work this into your cooking routine. Once you make it, let it serve as a sort of blueprint for cooking anything that would do well cooked in a lot of olive oil (most things). Add olives, fresh herbs, take away the capers; add fennel and zucchini to lean into the veg…the possibilities are endless and all delicious.
Now, once you’ve adopted this recipe/way of life, what to do with it? You could simply spoon it over toasted bread (pictured here) — preferably a crusty sourdough spread with goat cheese. Serve with a side salad or top with an egg and call it dinner. Other ideas: tossed with pasta, a little reserved cooking water and parmesan cheese; spooned over burrata for an appetizer; mixed with farro (or other grain) and/or lentils with feta and fresh herbs for picnics, potlucks or desk lunches; layered in a sandwich; scrambled with eggs. I even pureed it and added it to a white bean soup the other night. All delicious and all easy — my favorite “no recipe” type of cooking.
Enjoy! Xo Maggie
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 3 shallots, thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 tbsp capers, drained
- Small handful of thyme sprigs
- 1.5 cups extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 300°
- Place all ingredients in a large casserole dish or baking pan, making sure ingredients are evenly coated and nearly submerged in olive oil.
- Bake for approximately 1 hour, until tomatoes are starting to burst and the garlicky aromas enveloping your kitchen are starting to prove irresistible (this is a very scientific measure of doneness).
- Allow to cool a bit, discard the thyme stems (leaving the leaves behind) and transfer to a glass container. Or use immediately — it is divine served warm over toast and cheese.
The confit will store well in the fridge for a week or two. You may have to reheat slightly if the oil solidifies.