Tomato Confit with Torn, Toasted Dipping Bread
Tomato Confit for the Wow!
Tomato confit uses a slow, medieval, French cooking technique that turns ho-hum tomatoes into wow-wow-wow tomatoes.
Cherry tomatoes are slow cooked in a single layer with a generous pour of olive oil, herbs, garlic and salt in a low 275 degree oven. The actual oil temperature will approach 200 degrees, no where near the high temperatures used to fry food in fat.
The result is concentration of flavor, retention of moisture as well as some amazing tomato flavored olive oil. Note: When you have eaten all your tomato confit please save any leftover tomato and garlic-infused olive oil for another use. This flavor-infused oil is like liquid gold!
Make Sure to Start with A Great Olive OilI can't stress enough the importance of using a good virgin olive oil for this recipe. My favorite olive oil is Stonehouse olive oils. Their olive oils have been a standard pantry item in my house for 10 years. I use their Olio Santo and House Blend for my everyday cooking and also splurge on some of their premium oils for finishing and dipping. I even use their oils for baking. Check out my olive oil cakes in various flavors as an example for how to use olive oil to achieve moist baked products:
- Passion Fruit Olive Oil Cake
- Pumpkin Olive Oil Cake with Espresso and Almonds
- Cranberry Walnut Olive Oil Cake with Cream Cheese Nuggets
- Grownup Carrot Cake
History of ConfitConfit was developed to preserve meat in the south of France when there was no refrigeration available. Confit, which stems from the French word confire, means to preserve. Aside from extending the life of food, food prepared confit is tender, moist and flavor intense. In addition to these tomato confit, the confit technique can also be applied to a variety of vegetables including garlic, onions, leeks, chiles and even eggplant.
Torn and Toasted Dipping BreadI find ciabatta bread works best for this torn technique. I particularly like Trader Joe's ciabatta bread. Not only is it priced right, it has both density as well as large air holes that when toasted create a crispy and delicious foundation for the tomato confit. Toasting torn bread creates crunchy pieces that are delightful when smeared with a big spoonful of tomato confit.
You can make tomato confit with just tomatoes. Or, you can add whole, slightly smashed garlic to the confit if you wish. Go light with half a dozen cloves or go big and throw in the whole head. The garlic mellows and becomes spreadable. I like using my garlic rock to prep the garlic for the tomato confit. You can also serve tomato confit with a slab of feta or a round of spreadable goat cheese.
Tomato Confit is a Great Use for End of Summer TomatoesTomato confit is a great way to use up a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes. But don't limit yourself to summer tomatoes. Tomato confit turns up the flavor dial on even average tomatoes. Tomato confit makes for a delicious appetizer or meal accompaniment in the heat of summer as well as a comforting addition to a winter meal. Serve it with a grilled steak or a hot bowl of soup. You can't go wrong.
Want more Terrific Tomato Recipes?Here are some of our favorites:
- Grilled Zucchini, Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Burrata Salad
- Watermelon, Feta and Tomato Kabobs
- Tomato and Grilled Bread Salad with Burrata
- Roasted Tomato, Pesto and Burrata Bruschetta
- Baked Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Appetizer
- Ottolenghi's Tomato and Pomegranate Salad
- Peach and Tomato Gazpacho with Goat Cheese Croutons
- Tomato, Basil and Feta Brushetta
- Roasted Tomato Soup
- Watermelon, Tomato and Strawberry Salad with Burrata
- Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Confit Tomatoes with Torn and Toasted Dipping Bread
Yield 4 - 8 servings
Tomato confit turns ho-hum tomatoes into wow-wow-wow tomatoes. Serve with toasted torn dipping bread and you have a delightful appetizer or meal accompaniment.
For the confit:
- 6 cups of cherry tomatoes
- 6 - 12 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
- Several sprigs fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, oregano or a mixture of herbs
- 3/4 cup first press, extra virgin olive oil
- 1 generous pinch crushed red pepper
- 2 pinches kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
For the torn, toasted bread:
- 1 loaf ciabatta bread
- Olive oil
- 1 pinch of kosher salt
- Add goat or feta cheese to the platter or mix chunks directly into the confit before serving.
For the confit:
- Heat oven to 275 degrees F. Put tomatoes in a single layer in a baking dish. Tuck garlic and herbs around the tomatoes. Pour olive oil over the tomatoes, garlic and herbs. Season with crushed red pepper, kosher salt and pepper.
- Bake for about 1 1/2 hours until tomatoes just begin to burst. Remove from the oven and set aside. May be done several days to 2 weeks in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge. When ready to use, remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
For the torn, toasted bread:
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Tear the ciabatta loaf into 2 - 3" pieces. About 10 minutes before the tomatoes are done, place the bread pieces in a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Watching closely, bake in the oven about 10 minutes until the edges begin to brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
- Place the confit in a dish on a cheese board and surround with the crispy torn bread. Serve with the confit and toast with a nice cool glass of Sancerre or Sauvignon Blanc.