Today’s recipe is a Tomato Confit which includes the herbs and spices of Lemon-thyme, fennel seeds, garlic and chilli. Confit tomatoes are richer and mellower than roast tomatoes, can be served as a first course salad with some greens such as rocket and a little feta, dressed with the juices of the pan, and accompanied by good crusty bread. The confit tomatoes can also be tossed with your favourite pasta or served as a side dish with meat, chicken or fish. The cooked tomato confit will keep for about 5 days in the fridge.
Tomato Confit serves 4
Set oven temperature to 140C/275F/Gas1
650g (1lb 7oz) plump summer tomatoes, cut in half
1 tsp fennel seeds
6 sprigs lemon thyme
1 generous tablespoon course sea salt (I use Maldon)
2 teaspoons coarsely crushed black pepper corns
Loose cloves of garlic from 1 garlic head, pealed and crushed
2 crushed dried chillies (optional)
120ml extra virgin olive oil
Gently Mix the halved tomatoes together with the spices, herbs, salt and oil. Place the tomatoes in an oven proof dish/pan just large enough to fit the tomatoes snugly. Pour over the seasoned olive oil. Cook for 3 hours basting every 40 minutes with the oil in the pan. To do this remove the pan from the oven, tip the pan a little to one side, scoop up the oil and drizzle over each tomato, without disturbing the tomatoes too much. This dish can be served hot or at room temperature.