This tomato confit is prepared by making slow-roasted tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and herbs and then storing them in the oil. The preserved tomatoes are packed with flavor, health benefits, and this recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan!
Whether you’ve got a glut of tomatoes you’re looking to preserve or want a delicious new way to enjoy cherry tomatoes – this tomato confit is just what’s needed. I’ve already shared methods for ‘sun-dried’ tomatoes and how to make Tomato Purée/Paste. Now, these slow-roasted tomatoes are cooked with garlic and oil and then stored in jars to use in tons of different ways.
While the tomatoes are slow-roasted in the oven, the actual prep time is just minutes. The method consists of super-simple steps and just 4 ingredients (not including salt and pepper).
Once roasted, your preserved tomatoes now have deep roasted flavor and a concentration of herb flavor – they are perfect as a condiment or a side to jazz up tons of meals. Even better, they may even be healthier for you too!
Did you know that, according to several studies, when tomatoes are eaten alongside healthy fats like olive oil, our bodies can absorb the carotenoid phytochemicals (like Lycopene) in tomatoes between 2-15x more than without? However, there’s one slight caveat – to get the full benefits, the tomatoes have to be cooked – perfect for this tomato confit!
What Is Tomato Confit?
Confit (pronounced con-fee) is a French preservation method traditionally used for building up pantry foods – with a focus on poultry, in particular, that’s slow-cooked in its own fat with some salt.
With this tomato confit, these slow-roasted tomatoes are cooked in olive oil with garlic and herbs and then stored together in sterilized jars. This allows you to enjoy the fresh flavors of the roasted tomatoes for longer.
The slow cooking in the fat affects the food in a way that makes it harder for bacteria to grow. Meanwhile, storing the tomatoes in oil helps to reduce oxidization, which leads to further spoilage.
Tomato Confit Vs. Roasted Tomatoes
The biggest difference between the two methods is the amount of oil used. Whereas roasted tomatoes are drizzled with oil, tomato confit bathes in the oil.
Not only does the extra oil help the tomatoes to hold their shape, but it also slows down the process of caramelization – meaning the tomatoes retain more of their fresh flavor.
- Tomatoes: make sure to use fresh, ripe tomatoes for the best flavor. I used just red cherry tomatoes, but you can use baby plum tomatoes, or mixed color cherry tomatoes, etc.
- Extra virgin olive oil: you’re going to need A LOT for this recipe, so don’t cringe. You can use a mild, less expensive cooking olive oil option, but try to use extra virgin olive oil at least to take advantage of the additional health benefits.
- Herbs: I used thyme. However, you can experiment with others, including oregano, chili flakes, rosemary, etc.
- Garlic: it infuses the oil with a wonderful additional flavor.
- Salt & Pepper.
How To Make Tomato Confit
Step 1: Add the items to a deep baking tray or casserole dish. I placed the thyme first, then added the tomatoes and cloves.
I left the green tops of the tomatoes and the garlic skin. You can remove them in advance if you prefer.
Step 2: Add the olive oil. Add enough so that the tomatoes are all covered at least 1/3 of the way.
Step 3: Slow roast tomatoes in the oven for 2-2.5 hours at 195ºF/90ºC(fan-assisted). The tomatoes should begin to burst and blister but without entirely losing their plump shape.
Step 4: Allow the tomato confit to cool enough to remove the green tops and garlic skin and then allow them to cool to room temperature before transferring to jar/s. If the tomatoes aren’t completely covered then top them up with a little more olive oil and then store them in the refrigerator (read the FAQs for storage details).
How To Serve
I wasn’t kidding when I said there were dozens of ways to enjoy these slow-roasted tomatoes. Here are just a few of my top picks.
- As a side to your favorite proteins: meat, fish, or tofu, etc.
- On toast – even better if it’s paired with homemade cream cheese or mozzarella or over avocado toast.
- Similarly – as antipasti on bruschetta – like with this mushroom toast.
- Add a few to this Burrata Caprese salad and other salads.
- Serve alongside cooked grains (like brown rice or quinoa) for extra flavor.
- Use to top Pasta dishes and bakes – like this Vegetarian One-Pot Pasta bake, Fresh Home-made Spinach Green Pasta Salad, or Easy Homemade Potato Gnocchi.
- Within tortilla wraps, falafel wraps, and burritos
- To top burgers – like this Sweet Potato Burger With Portobello Mushroom Bun or Pumpkin Bean Burger With Spicy Mayo Sauce.
- To top large dishes of dip like creamy hummus or baba ganoush.
And more! Let me know in the comments what your favorite ways of using this cherry tomato confit would be.
Store the cherry tomato confit in airtight sterilized jars in the refrigerator, making sure the tomatoes are fully covered with the olive oil. This way, the preserved tomatoes should last several weeks (2-3 at least). Though, to err on the side (because of the garlic in the mixture) of caution, I aim to use it within two weeks.
Yes, you can. Simply place the freezer-safe containers with the confit tomatoes in the freezer for up to three months. Allow it to thaw in the fridge before using.
Even better, freeze the confit into ice-cube trays and then you can pop out as much as you need and chuck straight into sauces/whatever you’re cooking, to reheat.
Don’t worry – there’s no reason to throw it away! There are several ways you can use the leftover tomato confit oil:
– In place of regular cooking oil, to add flavor to dishes.
– Serve with fresh bread and antipasti – as a dipping oil.
– Spooned over dips and sauces.
– To massage kale.
Just make sure to keep the confit tomatoes stored in the refrigerator at all times due to the risk of botulism or freeze it in ice-cube trays (as mentioned above).
Yes, you can. However, as it is something that I’ve tried yet, I don’t want to share any incorrect information. It’s also important to mention that certain rules exist around the long-term storage of garlic due to botulism concerns.
If you try this slow-roasted tomato confit recipe, then let me know your thoughts and questions in the comments. I’d also really appreciate a recipe rating and would love to see your recreations – just tag @AlphaFoodie.
How To Make Tomato Confit (Slow-Roasted Tomatoes)
- 1 pound tomatoes cherry, baby plum, rainbow cherry, etc.
- 6 garlic cloves
- few sprigs thyme or rosemary, oregano, chili flakes, etc.
- 3/4 cup olive oil extra virgin olive oil is best; mild, not too expensive oil works too
- 1 teaspoon salt
- black pepper optional
These ingredients will yield about 2 cups of tomato confit.
- Add the items to a deep baking tray or casserole dish. I placed the thyme first, then added the tomatoes and cloves.I left the green tops of the tomatoes and the garlic skin. You can remove them in advance if you prefer.
- Add the olive oil. Add enough so that the tomatoes are all covered at least 1/3 of the way.
- Slow roast the tomatoes in the oven for 2-2.5 hours at 195ºF/90ºC(fan-assisted). The tomatoes should begin to burst and blister but without entirely losing their plump shape.
- Allow the tomato confit to cool enough to remove the green tops and garlic skin and then allow them to cool to room temperature before transferring to jar/s. If the tomatoes aren't completely covered then top them up with a little more olive oil and then store them in the refrigerator or freezer(*read notes)