This cherry tomato confit recipe is incredible quick and easy to prepare, then you just need to let the oven slow roast them to perfection.
The result is a mouthwateringly delicious easy condiment perfect for elevating any meal from grilled meats to salads to bruschetta.
Bonus points for this tomato confit being naturally dairy-free, gluten free and vegan too so you can comfortably serve it to all your guests.
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What is tomato confit?
Confit (pronounced kon-fee) is a French word meaning preserved and is a way of slowly cooking in oil many different ingredients so they’re succulent and juicy, tender, and can be kept for longer periods. Confit duck is a classic but the method is not reserved for meats and can be used on many different vegetables as well.
These confit cherry tomatoes are just delicious. The confit technique renders them extra juicy and tender to the point that they just burst in your mouth with little pressure. The tomatoes retain their fresh flavour and natural sweetness too but are infused with the flavours of garlic, shallots and thyme.
They can then be used to stir through hot pasta, added to bruschetta, dotted through salads, stirred through hot rice or quinoa or literally just served on the side of grilled meats. A good steak is a wonderful way to enjoy them. Their juiciness is a sauce in itself.
While confit tomatoes can be made just with oil and tomatoes, why miss an opportunity to add even more flavour in a really easy way?! A few little optional extras can take these slow roasted tomatoes to new heights.
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
- Tomatoes: It’s best to use very small tomatoes like cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes for tomato confit. They retain their shape and can be eaten in one delicious juicy bite. I’ve added a few tiny tomatoes to mine too, called tiny toms. Any type will work and try using different coloured ones just to make them extra special.
- Oil: There’s no need to use an expensive extra virgin olive oil here as the flavour of the oil will lessen when cooking over this amount of time. I use just a light flavoured olive oil here.
- Garlic: While I mentioned optional additional flavours, I would consider the garlic a necessity. Garlic and tomato confit is sensational so don’t skip the fresh garlic cloves.
- Shallots: Ok, optional but I did include shallots as they add a gorgeous light oniony hint and shallots confit is delicious in it’s own right.
- Thyme: I love a few fresh thyme sprigs here but other fresh herbs will work too. Fresh sage, fresh basil or fresh rosemary will be especially good.
- Balsamic vinegar: Tomatoes + garlic = good but tomatoes + garlic + balsamic vinegar = stellar! Such a gorgeous flavour combo, use a good aged balsamic vinegar and not a balsamic glaze.
- VARIATIONS: You can add other flavourings as well like some red pepper flakes or lemon peel.
How to make tomato confit
The preparation for this cherry tomatoes confit is so quick, just 5 or so minutes and you’re ready to cook them.
Jump to the recipe for full ingredients and instructions.
The process is as simple as combining everything in a baking pan or baking dish and let them cook at a very low temperature (120C/250F) for 1-2 hours. The length of time will depend on the size of your tomatoes and their ripeness. Softer tomatoes will start to split open before firmer tomatoes and you really want to cook them just until the first one or two tomatoes start to burst.
Make sure the pan is of a size that the tomatoes can fit quite snuggly into it but still in one layer. This will give the best level of oil to the tomatoes. The tomatoes don’t need to be fully immersed in oil but ½ way up the tomatoes is great. If your pan is bigger and they don’t fit snuggly, you might need to adjust the amount of oil to come half way up the tomatoes.
After the tomatoes are in a single layer, go about adding the other ingredients pushing them into gaps where you can or leaving them on top. Give it a little mix around so the seasoning and balsamic get everywhere in the pan but make sure to get the tomatoes back into a single layer.
How to use tomato confit
There are so many ways to use tomato confit and here’s just a few ideas to get you started. I’d love to hear how you use them too – let me know in the comments below.
Let them come to room temperature first and you’ll generally want to use a slotted spoon or drain the confit tomatoes of excess oil before use.
- Condiment: Use them as a side condiment for grilled meats. So simple. Warm them just slightly, then spoon them onto the side of the plate or even directly over the meat like steak, chicken or fish. Delicious. You can roughly chop some of the confit garlic and shallots too. You can also mash them up to make them a chunky sauce.
- On a cheese board or grazing platter: Just like you’d serve olives on a cheese platter, serve the tomatoes for something boasting umami, sweetness and freshness all at once.
- Stir through pasta: Cook some pasta then drain the water, reserving just a little. Add some of the tomato confit along with a touch of the oil and a little grated parmesan to the pasta and give it a good stir over low heat to warm them through. Let some break so they act as a pasta sauce and add a little of the reserved pasta water to add seasoning and silkiness to the sauce.
- Bruschetta: Drained of oil, simply spoon the tomatoes over some crusty bread in place of the traditional fresh tomatoes.
- Stir through risotto or rice: Similarly to the pasta idea, stir the confit cherry tomatoes through a simple risotto or cooked rice.
- As a pizza sauce: This is so good. Squish the tomatoes over your pizza dough to act as your pizza sauce before baking.
What about the oil
While you won’t use the oil so much in the ideas above, don’t discard it. Firstly, you’ll need to store your tomato confit in the oil to keep them for longer periods – it stops air getting to the tomatoes that would make them go bad quicker. However, even after or as you’re using the tomatoes the oil can be used too.
How to store tomato confit
Add the tomatoes, shallots and garlic to a mason jar or similar – something with a tight fitting lid – then cover with the oil they were cooked in. If there isn’t enough to cover them, just add some fresh olive oil until they are. Stored this way, they’ll keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Check for mould before using.
You can also freeze the tomato confit for up to 3 months.
The oil will solidify in the fridge or freezer, so you’ll need to let them come to room temperature or warm slightly untl the oil is liquid again.
If you go to the lengths of traditional canning, they could keep for up to 1 year. This tomato canning post is a great resource for all the how to’s. Still keep the oil over them if canned this way.
Yes, you can. Cherry and grape tomatoes are very convenient as they require no other preparation but if you want to use something larger like a gorgeous roma tomato or plum tomatoes you definitely can. Cut them into quarters first and remove the seeds then proceed as per the recipe.
They’ll last in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or the freezer for up to 3 months. If you use the correct canning method, they could keep for up to 1 year.
Yes, you can. Keep it stored in the oil in an airtight jar or container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Confit will only raise the fat levels by the amount of fat that coats the outside of the ingredient in the confit. It does not add additional fat inside the ingredient.
Did you try this tomato confit recipe?
Leaving a rating and comment below the recipe is so helpful!
- 800 g baby tomatoes, grape or cherry (1 ¾lb)
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 small shallots, peeled and halved, optional
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (250ml)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, optional (notes 1)
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
For best results, always weigh ingredients where a weight is provided
- Baking tray or casserole dish
- Preheat the oven to 120C (100 fan forced) / 250F.
- Add the tomatoes, garlic, shallots, thyme, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to a large casserole dish. The dish should be large enough to fit all the tomatoes snuggly but in a single layer.
- Give it a little mix around then bake for 1-2 hours until you notice the first few burst the skin. The baking time will depend on the size and ripeness of your tomatoes.
- Let them cool to room temperature to serve. Tomato confit can be stored in a jar in the fridge covered in the oil they were cooked in. Make sure they’re totally covered so air can’t get in and use within 1-2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Please take a moment to leave a comment & rating. It's appreciated and so helpful.
- Tablespoons: I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (equal to 4 teaspoons). Check yours before measuring.
- Nutrition details are approximate only – scroll below the recipe to find the full nutritional information. Serving size is based on using a full batch on my share-style bruschetta.
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