Confit is a French cooking technique used for preserving poultry (duck, goose, rooster) which also involves roasting the meat in its own fat. The meat is seasoned to perfection and roasted slowly on low temperature in duck fat. The meat becomes incredibly tender, so tender that it simply melts in your mouth. This technique is also used for fruits and vegetables. The main difference is the fact that the cooking liquid is not an animal fat, but a vegetable fat for veggies or a sugar-based syrup for fruits.
Tomato confit is a wonderful way to cook these lovely veggies. The tomatoes are seasoned generously with olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs. After that, they are slowly roasted on low temperature until they are tender, juicy and slightly caramelized on the edges. This technique brings out their own sweetness and concentrates their own flavor. This simple and humble ingredient can elevate almost every dish, from pasta, polenta or risotto, to sandwiches or crostini or can even be served as a side dish. Even though the tomato confit can be time-consuming, the effort definitely pays off!
- 1,5 – 2 kg ripe tomatoes (about 10 medium-sized tomatoes)
- 5 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
- 2 rosemary springs
- 6 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp sea salt, ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven at 140°C / 275°F (gas mark 1).
- Wash the tomatoes and half them lengthwise. Cut off the tough core and remove the seeds and juices using your fingers (picture).
- Drizzle 3 Tbsp olive oil on a parchment paper-lined tray. Sprinkle with salt pepper and rosemary leaves (picture). Lay the tomatoes cut side down on the tray and place the garlic cloves between the tomatoes. Using a brush, coat the tomatoes with the remaining oil.
- Place the tray in the preheated oven on the high rack and roast the tomatoes for about 3 hours, checking them every half an hour.
- After 3 hours, the tomatoes should be soft and caramelized on the edges. Let them cool down for 5 minutes and remove the skin using your fingers.
- When they are cool, place them in an air tight container and pour the juices from the tray over the tomatoes. Cover them with olive oil and refrigerate up to five days.
You can also remove their skin at the beginning of the recipe. Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Cut a small X into the bottom of each tomato. Boil the tomatoes for 15 seconds. Carefully remove them from the water, peel the skin and continue with the recipe. I personally prefer to remove the skin at the end because it is faster and the skin keeps the tomatoes moist.
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