Tomato Confit sounds pretty fancy, but it’s really a simple way to deepen the flavor of already wonderful late summer tomatoes and for preserving them when you have an abundance. You hardly need a recipe. It’s so easy that kids can learn to do it all on their own. But the best part of this recipe is that you get not only amazing concentrated tomatoes that you can toss on to a sandwich, burger, pizza or in a pasta dish, but you also create a wonderful flavored olive oil.
For kids (or cooks of any age) making a recipe like tomato confit is a great opportunity to taste a familiar ingredient in a new way and to see how cooking transforms both flavor and texture. For a kitchen-based activity, have a side by side tasting of fresh tomatoes and their confit-version. .
Oil-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes (Tomato Confit)
- cherry tomatoes, washed and dried
- your favorite herbs (try basil, oregano or thyme)
- garlic cloves, peeled and smashed but left whole
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 300-degrees F. Choose a baking sheet or dish that can accommodate the tomatoes in a single layer without a lot of extra empty space.
- In the dish, layer herbs and garlic cloves. Sprinkle the cherry tomatoes over the herbs and then drizzle the herbs and tomatoes generously with olive oil. The oil should cover the tomatoes at least halfway. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Put the baking dish in the oven and roast for 45 minutes or until tomatoes have shriveled somewhat and a few of the skins have started to split.
- Let tomatoes cool to room temperature. Transfer to a clean jar (you can add or discard the herbs and garlic depending on your preference) and top with the oil from the pan. If needed, top off the oil in the jar until it completely covers the tomatoes. Cover and store the tomato confit in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Freezing – If you decide to make a big batch of tomato confit, you can freeze the tomatoes for an “anytime taste of summer.” Scoop the tomatoes out of the oil and put them in a single layer on a tray lined with parchment. Freeze until solid and then transfer the tomatoes to a freezer safe container.
Stacie Dong and Simran Singh are San Francisco moms with a passion for cooking and exploring the world through food. On their blog, A Little Yumminess (www.alittleyum.com), they share recipes from around the world, favorite foodie destinations and ideas for raising adventurous eaters. They also teach classes, camps and private cooking workshops.