We didn’t grow tomatoes this year, but rather purchased them in bulk directly from farmers. If you have a glut of tomatoes in your garden, or can find them in a larger quantity, tomato confit is a great way to preserve that summer flavour.
This confit is simply slow roasted tomatoes with plenty of olive oil, garlic, and herbs. Covered in oil and stored it lasts longer than fresh tomatoes, and concentrates the taste so you can use less.
See below for an outline on how to use and store your homemade confit and bottle a bit of summer.
- Tomatoes: fresh, in season tomatoes are best – make this in the summer and store for later.
- Garlic: several cloves, but just for fragrance. It’s not garlic confit.
- Thyme: fresh if you possibly can.
- Spices: sea salt, black pepper, and (optional) cayenne pepper.
- Olive Oil: extra virgin, though a cooking oil can be used in a pinch.
- Vinegar: balsamic or apple cider vinegar. This is optional but improves the flavour.
Step by Step
How to Use Tomato Confit
Confit can be added to just about anything you might usually add fresh tomatoes or tomato sauce too. With pasta for a quick meal, over toast to make a kind of bruschetta, or to top hummus for a summery twist.
How to Use Leftover Oil
Don’t waste that olive oil! It can be used as a normal cooking oil for roasting vegetables, making tomato sauce, or in your everyday use. It adds a slight garlic tomato flavour so I wouldn’t add it to sweets, but it works well in most savoury applications.
Simply use the oil as the tomato level goes down in the jar. Any extra can be frozen in ice cube trays once all of the confit has been used – add it to soups and sauces or pop a cube in the pan to melt before sautéing vegetables.
Notes and Substitutions
I roast the garlic with the skin on and peel before storing the confit. This caramelises the garlic more effectively and adds a sweeter flavour, but it can be peeled beforehand if you prefer.
Pictured are field tomatoes, which are larger and must be cut before roasting. Cherry or plum tomatoes are great and can be roasted whole or halved – use whatever you have.
Change up the herbs as you like (see substitutions for thyme). Oregano is nice here, finely chopped, but I don’t recommend very soft herbs like basil.
Roasted tomatoes can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks, if fully covered in olive oil. I recommend placing the cooled confit into jars, topping with extra olive oil if needed, and storing in the refrigerator.
While tomatoes are, of course, quite safe to can in a normal water bath, garlic is a bit trickier. If you have a pressure canner then it’s no problem. You should be able to can in a water bath (boil, then simmer about 40 minutes) using 250-350ml sterilised jars – but I’m always hesitant to give concrete canning advice despite being a keen preserver.
That being said, confit freezes very well, and can be frozen in airtight containers for several months. I typically use canning jars to freeze recipes like this and it works well.
More Tomato Recipes
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Tomato Confit (Slow Roasted Tomatoes)
- 1 kg. cherry tomatoes
- 4-6 cloves garlic peeled
- Handful fresh thyme
- 100 ml olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic or apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- Preheat the oven to 130°C (265°F).
- Place the tomatoes, garlic, thyme, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper into a large, deep baking dish. A casserole dish is perfect.
- Us a wooden spoon or your hands to mix until the tomatoes are well coated in oil, tucking the thyme under the tomatoes to ensure it doesn’t burn.
- Cook for 2-2.5 hours. After this time, the tomatoes should be significantly reduced in size, and there should be a large amount of liquid in the bottom of the dish.
- Spoon the confit into clean jars, making sure the tomatoes are fully covered in the oil mixture* at the top of the jars.
- Cool to room temperature before sealing and storing in the refrigerator. The confit will keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator and can be frozen for up to six months.
This post was first shared in October 2015. It has been updated with some improvements to the recipe as of August 2021.