Fresh, sweet cherry tomatoes, a whole head of garlic and fresh herbs slow roasted in a bath of olive oil make a great appetizer or side. This cherry tomato confit is a great way to enjoy the end of summer bounty of tomatoes.
My favorite time of year are the last few weeks of summer when tomatoes are in full effect and the stands of farmers markets are just bursting with vibrant, colorful tomatoes. Making a confit is the best way to preserve the season’s ripe cherry tomatoes to enjoy into the first few weeks of fall. Stash some in the freezer and pull it out in the cold winter months when you’re craving a little taste of summer.
If you’re looking for a great cherry tomato recipe to use up some tomatoes from your farmers market haul or backyard harvest, look no further.
What is confit?
First thing, you may be asking yourself, what is confit? It’s a french cooking technique in which an ingredient, typically meat, is preserved in its own fat. In this case, we’re doing it with tomatoes and garlic in olive oil and it is literally life changing. Tomatoes, garlic and herbs slowly roast in tons of olive oil until the tomatoes almost burst. The result is a winning combination of super sweet and spreadable roasted tomatoes, garlic and infused olive oil that is just out of this world. There are so many different ways to enjoy this magical condiment.
Why you will love this simple recipe
- It keeps well for a few weeks and freezes beautifully, making it a great way to preserve and enjoy the fresh cherry tomatoes of the summer season.
- Makes a fantastic appetizer or great side dish for a dinner party.
- There are so many different ways to enjoy it!
All you need is ripe cherry tomatoes and a handful of fresh ingredients to make this easy recipe.
- Fresh tomatoes – I love the look of colorful cherry tomatoes in this dish. I usually mix red and yellow orange sungold tomatoes. You can also substitute grape tomatoes if that is what you have on hand or in your vegetable garden. The good news is that if you have some tomatoes that are a little soft and slightly past their prime, this is the perfect way to save them before they go bad.
- Fresh garlic – a whole head.
- Fresh herbs – I use basil and oregano. You could also add rosemary or thyme.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Flaky salt
Making tomato confit could not be any easier. There are really no exact amounts for this recipe. It’s impossible to mess up. I recommend using at least a pint of cherry tomatoes, but you can easily double it and add more garlic.
Cut about a half an inch off of the top of a whole head of garlic, exposing the cloves. Add whole cherry tomatoes to a baking dish in a single layer. Remove any loose, papery skin from the outside of the garlic and nestle the whole head in between the tomatoes.
Add some sprigs of fresh basil and oregano. Pour olive oil in the dish until its about halfway up the sides of the tomatoes. Pour olive oil all over the exposed garlic cloves. Season with a few pinches of flaky salt. Bake in a 325 degree oven for about an hour until the tomatoes start to wrinkle and caramelize but not completely burst.
Cool to room temperature. Pull out the head of garlic and squeeze the roasted garlic into the mixture.
Try not to eat a whole baguette standing at the kitchen counter!
Ways to serve tomato confit
- Use it as a condiment for crusty bread or as a bruschetta topper
- Toss a little bit into pasta for super concentrated tomato flavor
- Mash a few garlic roasted cherry tomatoes onto a pizza crust as a sauce
- Spoon tomatoes and oil over fresh mozzarella, burrata, feta, goat cheese or whipped ricotta
- Top grilled chicken or fish
- Combine the infused olive oil with a little bit of balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar to make a delicious tomato garlic vinaigrette
Tomato confit will keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Make sure the tomatoes and garlic are fully submerged in oil. Olive oil will solidify in the refrigerator so take it out and let it come to room temperature before using. You can also spoon some directly into a hot skillet if you’re adding it to a recipe.
Freeze small portions of the confit in large ice cube trays or souper cubes and store for up to three months.
More summer tomato recipes you will love
Cherry Tomato and Garlic Confit
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes or more
- 1 whole head of garlic
- 1 cup olive oil or more
- 8 sprigs fresh basil & oregano
- flaky sea salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Add cherry tomatoes to a deep baking dish in a single layer.
- Cut about half an inch off the top of a whole head of garlic, exposing the cloves. Peel away any loose skins from the outside. Nestle the garlic in between the tomatoes.
- Pour olive oil over the top of the exposed garlic cloves and into the baking dish until it reaches about halfway up the tomatoes.
- Top with sprigs of fresh herbs and season with a few pinches of flaky sea salt.
- Bake for 60-80 minutes until garlic is soft and sweet and tomatoes are blistered but not quite burst. Cool completely and squeeze roasted garlic cloves into the tomatoes and olive oil.
- Store in a mason jar in the fridge for up to two weeks or freeze in small portions for up to three months.