Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tomato Confit or Oven Dried Tomatoes

-- or, what to do when you find ripe Roma tomatoes at 39 cents a pound. (If you live anywhere near Berkeley and still haven't been to Monterey Market, go. Not only do they have incredible deals, but much of their produce is organic and from local farmers. In addition to the 39 cent tomatoes, I bought some small dry-farmed $3/lb tomatoes that were most definitely the best tasting tomatoes I have ever had in my entire life. I do not exaggerate.)

The key to the incredibly concentrated flavor of these finished tomatoes is the slow, low cooking. (Also, it almost goes without saying, your tomatoes should be ripe.) I lined a baking sheet with tin foil, poured about half a cup of seriously good olive oil onto the foil, and sprinkled it with thinly sliced basil and shallots.  Then I sliced the tomatoes in half lengthwise (use Roma tomatoes, which are meaty and slightly elongated), dipped the cut side in the olive oil, and sprinkled them with salt, pepper, and a little sugar. Then I arranged them cut side up on the sheet and baked them at about 200 degrees-- as low as my oven would go-- overnight, or for about 10 hours. Take them out when they have collapsed and are no more than a 1/2 inch thick. Store them in the olive oil-- if you add oil to cover, they'll last longer.

tomato confit and fresh dry farmed tomatoes

If you want oven-dried tomatoes, which are more like sun-dried tomatoes, skip the olive oil, basil and shallots, and just spray the tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with spices before baking. Bake until they're shriveled and dry. These can be stored in the fridge or freezer for a very long time, and revived with some oil or water.

the confit is delicious on a bagel--
I added fresh dry-farmed tomatoes for comparison
and had some figs on the side
(best breakfast ever)


Katie said...

i saw a recipe like this once that included chopped fresh herbs on the tomatoes. i think i like your way better, you can add herbs later anyway and they'll have more flavor.

purplecook said...

Yeah-- the basil seems to just highlight the tomato flavor, and the shallots dry out into something delicious. I think adding more herbs after cooking or before serving is best.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin