Having an abundance of beautiful produce often means you have far more of it than you can eat before it spoils and so finding a way to keep enjoying it long after the initial pick is where preserving comes in.
I can’t resist beautiful tomatoes. While heirloom tomatoes like oxheart have always been my favourite and transport me back to my father’s home town of Quintodecimo in Marche, Italy, where my uncle grows them by the bucketload, plump vine ripened cherry tomatoes are my favourite type to roast. This is why when I decided to make confit tomatoes recently, I looked for the best vine ripened babies I could find and I found them at Fourth Village Providore on Danks St.
They were possibly the most delicious looking vine ripened baby tomatoes I had seen and after receiving two gorgeous Kilner Jars to celebrate their 175th anniversary recently, I just knew I had to buy as many tomatoes as I could carry, make confit tomatoes and bottle them. All so that I could slather them on thick cut toasted bread.
The process of making confit tomatoes is incredibly easy but the key is definitely the quality of ingredients. It will only taste as good as your tomatoes, so buying the best you can find is key. From there it is relatively simple, all you need is a little time at home to leave them in the oven. It’s the perfect Sunday afternoon recipe as it will have you sitting down with your feet up with about 5 minutes of active cooking.
There are many ways to enjoy these delicious juicy sweet mouthfuls and here are just a few ideas:
- Firstly, they are perfect squished onto bread with shavings of sharp cheese as I have done here.
- They are great as a super quick pasta sauce when crushed with some of the olive oil, then mixed with sicilian olives, capers and anchovies and tossed through cooked pasta.
- They can tart up a steak sandwich as a juicy sweet layer in the middle.
- Blend them with some of the olive oil for a simple and delicious salad dressing.
- Serve them on top of a finished risotto, or blend some and stir it through a risotto just before serving.
Confit Cherry Tomatoes
- 1.5kg plump vine ripened cherry tomatoes
- 3-4 sprigs fresh oregano
- 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 6-8 garlic cloves
- Olive oil, for cooking and preserving (about 1 cup depending on jar)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 130°Celsius (260°F)
Place cherry tomatoes in a baking dish. Top with garlic, oregano and thyme and drizzle with enough olive oil to coat nicely. Season with salt and pepper and place in the middle rack of your oven for 3 hours.
If you have very small cherry tomatoes, you may only need 2 hours. Mine were large so needed 3 hours - you still want them to be plump and juicy after cooking otherwise you will be making dried tomatoes.
Once the skin has dried and wrinkled and the tomatoes are plump yet sweet, set aside the tray to cool completely before bottling. To bottle, place in a few small jars, or one large jar and top with olive oil.
They will keep for two weeks in the fridge, or can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.