Author Notes: Slowly roasting ripe heirloom tomatoes in crushed garlic and thyme infused extra-virgin olive oil, intensifies their sweet flavor to create a beautiful tomato confit. The tomato juices caramelize in the roasting oil to form a fragrant herbal oil perfect for dipping crusty bread. This tomato confit is so simple to make and versatile in use. It’s great as an accompaniment for fish or meat dishes, served as a salad with goat cheese, or tossed with pasta for an easy meal. Sometimes, I can’t help but eat the roasted tomatoes straight up. —Kiss the Cook
2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes (any size will work; larger takes longer)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 bay leaves, halved
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Pour about 2 tablespoons olive oil evenly over a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the oil with salt, pepper, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves. Cut the heirloom tomatoes in half and lay the tomato halves cut side down in the pan. Drizzle the tomatoes with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and sugar. Bake the tomatoes for 2 1/2 hours, or until they are very tender but still able to hold their shape. Larger heirloom tomatoes may need to bake a little longer. Cool the tomatoes to room temperature on the pan.
- If you are not using the tomatoes immediately, scrape the tomatoes, juices, herbs, and flavored oil into a container and refrigerate for up to 1 week. They will actually improve as they sit. If you are using immediately, remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon to a platter and drizzle with a little of pan oil. Keep the rest of the flavored oil and juices for a salad dressing or a dipping sauce for bread.