Learning How to Confit Tomatoes is a brilliant way to make a summer glut of tomatoes last a little longer without making yet another batch of tomato sauce or chutney. Tomato confit is delicious served as a canape or appetizer, tossed through hot pasta or simply with some green salad and fresh cheese.
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I have turned into one of those people that slavishly spends an extraordinary amount of money and time from spring onwards growing tomatoes.
I do this to spend the month of August drowning in more homegrown tomatoes than I’ll ever be able to eat on my own. And at significantly more cost than just buying them. But its very satisfying so I’m sure I’ll do exactly the same next year.
Now I love a good fresh tomato. But I can only eat so many salads. And I love them roasted too – my Maple Roasted Cherry Tomatoes are a regular on my table. But as someone that hates tomato based sauces, I needed some other ways to use my tomatoes. So I started confiting them.
What is Confit?
To confit something is to cook it very slowly in oil. Think of it like poaching but in oil rather than water. Or the opposite of deep frying – that is cooking in oil at a high temp but confit is cooking in oil at a low temp.
One of the most common confit dishes is duck confit – a classic french preparation where duck is salted then cooked slowly in duck fat. The method is also applied to other poultry like goose and waterfowl.
Confit is also traditional in Italian cuisine but it tends to be used to cook vegetables and aromatics like garlic, onions and in this case; tomatoes.
The purpose of the confit is to both infuse flavour during the cooking process and preserve the food.
The term confit can also apply to cooking foods, usually fruit in sugar syrup, also at a low temperature.
How to Serve Confit Tomatoes
I like to serve the tomatoes at room temperature or even slightly warm. I do prefer to store them in the fridge so remembering to take them out a little early is key. Otherwise I might give them a couple of minutes in a small pan on the stovetop.
The confit tomatoes are very delicate and it is easy to turn them into a mush. So I make sure to handle them very carefully, especially when heating them.
My favourite way to serve them is to use them to make my Caprese inspired Confit Tomato Bruschettas with Pesto & Mozzarella. I use the confit cooking oil to baste ciabatta slices and toast them until crisp.
They then get a small scraping of pesto followed by confit tomatoes, torn fresh mozzarella and fresh basil leaves. A drizzle more of oil and they’re ready to serve.
Make Easy Confit Tomatoes into a Feast
I truly believe that you can make any dish into a proper feast! Whether thats a feast for one after work on a Tuesday, a casual feast for four on a Friday evening or a feast for 12 for a special occasion!
Don’t forget to head over to my Feast Collection pages to find all of my tips and tricks to help you host a fun and stress-free feast. Plus remember to check out my recipe index to create your own awesome Feast!
Ingredients for Tomato Confit
I do usually make confit with cherry (grape) tomatoes. They are the perfect size for serving or adding into dishes. But you can use the method to cook larger tomatoes – you will however need to increase the cooking times accordingly.
The quality of the tomatoes you use is the most important thing. I look for the ripest and deepest coloured tomatoes that I can find. I will usually buy them on the vine where possible. And I do like to buy a mix of colours where available.
But growing them myself, the tomatoes do not all ripen at the same time in my UK garden. So off the vine it is.
If you are a regular around here, you’ll know that 90% of the time I use either garlic salt or garlic paste in my recipes – for a variety of reasons. This is an occasion when I use fresh garlic cloves which are thinly sliced.
The garlic not only infuses the oil and then the tomatoes, but it also cooks slowly making it tasty and sweet to eat alongside the tomatoes.
I’ve gone fairly easy with the garlic in the recipe. If you want more garlic flavour or to get more from the recipe, you can add any number of whole peeled cloves. You can eat these separately or alongside the tomatoes.
My go-to herb to cook with tomatoes is thyme. So I’ve stuck to just adding fresh thyme sprigs in this recipe. You could use dried thyme if you must but fresh would be preferable.
My second favourite herb with tomatoes is oregano. Perversely, I prefer to use dried oregano to fresh as I think the flavour is much more pronounced.
You can also use any other hardy herb or a mixture. Rosemary, marjoram or sage would be obvious choices.
You should however avoid soft fresh herbs like basil, coriander, parsley and chives. It is much better to serve any of these with confit tomatoes than cook them together.
And of course if you don’t want to add any herbs, you don’t have to!
I am no slave to olive oil, in fact I quite rarely use it. But this really is an Italian treatment for tomatoes and olive oil is the most complementary flavour.
The oil is more than just a cooking method, it coats the tomatoes and the flavoured oil can be used on its own too.
So whilst you can use another cooking oil like canola, vegetable or sunflower, I would really advise you to go with olive oil. What I don’t really care about is how virgin the oil is. Choose how strong you want the flavour to your own preference.
Are Confit Tomatoes Vegetarian or Vegan?
Yes to both, these confit tomatoes are suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This recipe is free from egg, dairy, gluten and nuts.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
How To Confit Tomatoes – Step by Step
The following are my basic instructions for making confit tomatoes. The method can be applied and adapted to different amounts and types of tomatoes. And flavoured how you prefer.
If you’d rather have specific instructions with specified quantities and ingredients, keep scrolling to the recipe below. The step-by-step images which follow match the given recipe and ingredients.
Turn the oven on to 100c fan | 120c | 250f.
Remove any stalks from the tomatoes and place them into a roasting tin. Ideally the tomatoes will fit snugly into the tin.
Add your seasonings and aromatics to the tomatoes. I use finely sliced garlic, fresh thyme sprigs and sea salt.
Cover the tomatoes with olive oil. You want to just cover the tomatoes. Don’t skimp on the oil!
Cover the tin with foil and bake. For cherry tomatoes I bake for 90 minutes at a low temperature. Larger tomatoes will require longer.
Remove the foil, turn the oven up to 150c fan | 170c | 340f and bake further until there is a little colour on top of the tomatoes. You do need to watch at this stage as you don’t want them to catch and burn.
Allow the tomatoes to cool in the tin before moving to a jar or storage container.
If you are planning to can or preserve the tomatoes, you will need to do this when the tomatoes are hot.
How to Use the Cooking Oil
You will end up with more oil than you want to store the tomatoes with.
I use this garlic and herb flavoured oil to cook with and as a finishing oil. Just like I would with garlic oil that I buy.
It is also delicious mixed with some balsamic or other vinegar to dip bread in.
You can also reuse the oil to cook more confit tomatoes.
Whatever you use it for, I would make sure to strain the oil before storing – add the bits of garlic and herbs to the jar of tomatoes.
Confit Tomato Tips
Try to find a roasting tin or tray which is roughly the same size as the tomatoes laid out in a single layer. An overly large tray will simply mean that you need to use much more oil to get the tomatoes covered.
Be careful when handling the tray from the oven. Whilst we might be cooking at low temperatures, we are still talking about a full tray of hot oil. Use two hands and make sure you have a good grip on the tin.
You will want to handle the cooked tomatoes very gently or they will turn to mush. I make sure to spoon them a few at a time into their jar.
You do not have to can and preserve the tomatoes – as long as you make sure that they are always covered with a layer of oil, they will keep in the fridge for at least 4 to 5 weeks.
If you are wanting to store them for longer you will want to use sterilised jars and make sure they’re properly sealed.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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More Vegan Side Dishes
How To Confit Tomatoes
- 650 g Cherry Tomatoes
- 2 cloves Garlic
- ½ tsp Sea Salt Flakes
- 4 sprigs Fresh Thyme Leaves - approx
- 300 ml Olive Oil - approx
- Turn the oven on to 100c fan | 120c | 250f.
- Remove any stalks from 650g Cherry Tomatoes and place them into a roasting tin. Ideally the tomatoes will fit snugly into the tin.
- Peel and finely slice 2 cloves of Garlic. Scatter over the tomatoes along with ½ tsp Sea Salt Flakes and around 4 sprigs of Fresh Thyme.
- Cover the tomatoes with roughly 300ml Olive Oil. You really want to just cover the tomatoes – this is more important that exactly measuring the oil. Unless you want to make sure you have a certain amount of oil at the end.
- Cover the tin with foil and bake in the oven for 90 minutes.
- Remove the foil, turn the oven up to 150c fan | 170c | 340f and bake for a further 15-30 minutes. Keep and eye on them after 15 minutes. You are looking for a little colour on top of the tomatoes but you don’t want them to catch and burn.
- Allow the tomatoes to cool in the tin before moving to a jar or storage container. If you are planning to can or preserve the tomatoes, you will need to do this when the tomatoes are hot.