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Monday, April 4, 2011

tomato confit

The use of the word ‘confit’ seems to have etched itself into our modern day recipe language and is used to describe all manner of things. Once upon a time it only related to a method of preserving duck or goose. The terms means: ‘to cook (something) in its own fat’. The ancient way, still practiced, is to salt duck or goose legs overnight to extract as many juices as possible then slowly cook them, submerged in their own fat, for a very long time on a very low flame. Once cooked the meat must remain under the liquid flat until the fat sets solid. A sterilized spoon is used to dig out each portion of duck then they are cooked in a very hot oven for about 10-15 minutes until hot and crisp.

Confit tomatoes are quite another story and I use the term purely because the dish is considered to be one of those universal dishes and is more likely to attract attention than simply calling it ‘tomatoes in olive oil’! The tomatoes, once cooked must stay submerged in the olive oil. Using the same principle as above: to keep air out.

Preheat oven to 180°C

20 whole, ripe, vine tomatoes
Olive oil to cover tomatoes
Sea salt
White pepper
1-tablespoon thyme leaves only
1-tablespoon fresh rosemary, needles only
1 bay leaf
1-teaspoon sugar
3 cloves garlic, sliced


Wash, dry and cut tomatoes into quarters and remove the seeds and membranes. Place the tomatoes, cut side down, in a baking dish large enough to hold them in one layer. Pour the olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, slivers of garlic and herbs and sugar. Cook for 45 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Pack the tomatoes into a container/jar and pour the oil over them ensuring they are completely covered. The tomatoes keep for 4-5 days refrigerated.

Suggestions: great in pasta, salads, with goat’s cheese or ricotta.

tomatoes confit printable recipe version, click here:

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