For months now, we have been harvesting a healthy amount of cherry and grape tomatoes from our garden. While a lot of them go into salads, another way we enjoy them is as a confit, slow-roasted in olive oil with herbs, garlic, and chili flakes. The tomatoes are delicious on grilled bread with creamy goat cheese or tossed in with pasta. And if needed, we can portion them up and freeze them for use later in the year.
What is confit?
Confit comes from the French verb confire which means, “to preserve.” Most people are familiar with duck confit which is duck legs cooked and preserved in duck fat. But more broadly, meats, vegetables, and fruits can all be preserved in a similar manner using a liquid that prevents bacterial growth. For a more detailed explanation, read J. Kenji López-Alt’s article on Serous Eats.
For this recipe cherry and grape tomatoes are roasted low and slow in a savory bath of olive oil, herbs, and garlic.
Growing vegetables in Hawaii
In Hawaii, there are many different microclimates so there isn’t a specific growing calendar that works everywhere. For our area of Oahu, the optimum season is more akin to Australia than it is to the mainland United States. From November through April/May we have an abundance of vegetables including snow peas, kale, and tomatoes. And then, during the height of the dry season (for us, June through October), we plant cover crops until more favorable weather returns.
Cooking our bounty
In addition to sharing vegetables with neighbors, friends, and family, we make some of our favorite dishes like Crunchy Pea Salad and Sausage, Kale and Cauliflower Soup. And depending on which plants or trees are producing, you may find us making Ginger Papaya Jam, drying ancho peppers, or pickling jalapenos.
How to use tomato confit
- Tomato confit is delicious on grilled bread with soft goat cheese, ricotta, or smashed avocados.
- It is a perfect addition to a meze platter.
- It can be added to pasta.
- And don’t forget to use the flavored olive oil to drizzle over chicken or fish. Or incorporate the olive oil into a vinaigrette for salads.
Confit tomatoes are a perfect way to capture bountiful tomato crops. Serve with grilled bread, mix into pasta, or add to a meze platter.
2 pounds cherry or grape tomatoes
8–10 cloves garlic, to taste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper to taste
1/2 cup olive oil (or more depending on baking dish)
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh herbs of choice (thyme, basil, rosemary, etc.)
Preheat oven to 250°F.
Select a baking dish that will hold the tomatoes and garlic cloves in a single layer without a lot of movement. Place cherry tomatoes and garlic in the baking dish and nestle in the fresh herbs.
Pour olive oil into the dish, so it comes about halfway up the sides of the tomatoes. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Bake, uncovered, for 1-½ to 2 hours (cooking time will depend on the size of the cherry tomatoes) until the tomatoes are soft but not bursting. Tomatoes should be soft but not mushy.
Cool tomatoes in the pan until they are room temperature, then place in airtight containers or jars. Pour enough cooking oil over the tomatoes to submerge.
Tomato confit will last up to 1 month in your fridge and up to 3 in your freezer. Store the tomatoes covered in olive oil (so air doesn’t reach them) in an airtight container. Bring tomato confit to room temperature before serving. The olive oil will harden and solidify in the fridge/freezer.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Category: Vegetable, condiment
- Cuisine: American
- Calories: 290.63
- Sugar: 5.75 g.
- Sodium: 79.75 mg.
- Fat: 27.33 g.
- Saturated Fat: 3.77 g.
- Carbohydrates: 11.52 g.
- Fiber: 1.85 g.
- Protein: 2.64 g.
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: tomatoes, garlic, herbs, olive oil