Tomato-Garlic Confit

Each year, as the summer winds down and the flow of Brandywines and Zebras and Cherokee Purples dwindles to one or two scruffy fruits a week, I seem to struggle with how to keep up with the pints and pints of cherry and grape tomatoes that pick up the slack. I’ve whirred them into compound butter, I’ve puréed and frozen them for future pizzas, and I’ve pickled the unripe ones.

Last week, I tried something different: slowly poaching a box of them in olive oil with a small handful of herbs and a big handful of garlic. Jackpot. Try it spread over slices of grilled bread, spooned over a bloomy cheese, or even smooshed into a bowl of roasted spaghetti squash.

I like to the schmear the garlic first, then add a couple tomato bites.

Tomato-Garlic Confit

  • 8 oz cherry or grape tomatoes, rinsed
  • 2 medium heads of garlic, peeled
  • several sprigs of herbs (I used sage, rosemary, and thyme)
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cups olive oil

Place tomatoes, garlic cloves in a smallish saucepan. Sprinkle with salt, then layer on the herbs. Pour in the oil so that it just covers the contents.

Mind the size of your pan here; too wide, and you’ll need so much oil to cover that you’ll throw off the ratio.

Simmer for an hour or so, until the garlic is good and soft. Be careful not to let the mixture smoke or come to a full boil or you risk having the garlic turn bitter instead of sweet.

The garlic should be creamy soft and the tomatoes split but still mostly intact.

Let cool slowly to allow the flavors to fully infuse before you dive in. I stored my leftovers—with the intention to use them up in a couple weeks—in a lidded glass jar in the fridge. The oil solidifies when cold, so let the contents warm up to room temperature before you use them. I confess this requires forethought that I don’t always have. Know that 10-second pulses in the microwave (be sure to loosely cover the jar to avoid spattering) can bail you out in a confit emergency.

Have oil left after you’ve spooned out all the goodies? Use it to make salad dressing!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. mkhands@verizon.net says:

    So delicious!!!!!

    1. Susan says:

      Glad you dug it. Hope you’re well!

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