Anthony Dao's Tomato Confit

Anthony Dao's Tomato Confit

This tomato confit recipe is sort of a hassle but the results won’t have you regretting putting in all that leg-work. You can absolutely do this recipe while leaving the tomato skins on, but there’s something about a fat pearl of vine-ripened goodness preserved in garlicky and herb infused olive oil that will indeed soften the blow of summer’s inevitable end. It’s simply luxurious. Have it with fresh cheese and almost burnt toast, on top of your eggs, on some grilled or lightly cooked proteins, on your hummus, or of course, on your pizza! - Anthony Dao

(yields ~1 quart of tomatoes and infused oil)

Ingredients

1 pint cherry/grape tomatoes, not too ripe and preferably cold out of the fridge
2 1/2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed so that the inner flesh is exposed but it’s still roughly intact
1 loose cup of fresh basil
4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme, oregano, marjoram, rosemary and/or bay leaf (whatever you have handy)
1 tsp of salt
2 cups of nice extra virgin olive oil

Equipment

Medium to large pot
A wide, shallow wire mesh skimmer or a large slotted/perforated spoon can also suffice
Small/medium baking dish at least 2” tall
Medium-large deep bowl to serve as an ice bath
Aluminum Foil
Pairing knife

Method

Preheat your oven to 350F. Bring a pot of water to a boil, with enough water so that all 1 lbs of tomatoes will be completely submerged. Prepare your ice bath with plenty of ice to halt the cooking process of your soon-to-be blanched tomatoes. 

With a pairing knife, score each tomato with a VERY shallow “X” on either the top or bottom of the tomato. You just want to ever so slightly puncture the skin. When the water comes to a boil, prepare your ice bath with plenty of ice to halt the cooking process of your soon-to-be blanched tomatoes. Place the bath as close as you can to the boiling water to avoid a potentially messy transfer.

Drop in the tomatoes all at once. Let them cook for about 15-20 seconds or until you see the skins begin to release. Once you feel confident that most of the tomato skins have loosened from the flesh, quickly scoop them out of the water with the strainer/spoon and drop them into the ice bath. Leave them for 1-2 minutes.

Strain the tomatoes from the ice bath. With your hands or a pairing knife, carefully peel off the skin of each tomato. Place peeled tomatoes on a paper towel to allow them to dry. Put peeled tomatoes along with the rest of the ingredients in the baking dish and pour enough olive oil over them so everything’s completely covered. Totally fine if you’re a tad generous. Cover the top of the baking dish with aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven. Cook for 25-30 minutes or (if you’re baking the dish is glass) until you see some active bubbling going on. Keep in mind that they will continue to cook once out of the oven, you really want to avoid overcooking them.

When tomatoes are out of the oven, uncover and cool completely before storing. To really maximize shelf life, keep tomatoes in an airtight container and make sure contents are always submerged below the surface of the oil. They’ll usually last from 5-7 days. A little disclaimer, this recipe isn’t suitable for canning or freezing. 


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