Coming across a big crate of beautiful tomatoes at the market recently sent my mind spinning in one direction: Confit Tomatoes, the perfect way to preserve that beautiful summery tomato flavor for a little while longer.
Confit basically means preserved in fat, so these babies are cooked long and slow in the best olive oil you can lay your hands on, together with quite a few garlic cloves and a handful of basil leaves. There are sheer endless possibilities for using these: as a pizza or bruschetta topping, for pasta sauces, in a luscious grilled cheese (drain well first), in salads, anywhere you can use a taste of summer!
3 pints (roughly 900 g) cherry or rispen tomatoes (I like to leave the stems on in case I want to need them to look pretty for a dish, but by all means de-stem the tomatoes if you prefer)
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup whole basil leaves
10 garlic cloves, smashed with the flat of a wide knife
2 tbsp coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 275 F (135 C). Spread tomatoes onto a large rimmed baking sheet or a large ovenproof dish. Add the oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Toss gently to coat the tomatoes. Tuck the basil into the oil so it is fully immersed. Bake for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours until the tomatoes are wilted but not all of them have burst.
Let the tomato mixture come to room temperature. Discard the basil leaves.
The tomatoes can be stored in airtight jars completely immersed with olive oil in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or you can freeze them for up to 2 months. Let the tomatoes come to room temperature before serving.