Saw some perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes at the market the other day. I don’t know, I just picked them up despite not having any clear intended use for any specific recipe at all. It could most probably be how vibrant, fresh and succulently- looking they were that made the purchase irresistible.
I ended up having nearly two pints of these cherry tomatoes in my fridge, of some I know for sure I’ll be using for salads. As for what’s left, well, I better do something before they lose all that freshness that made me buy them impulsively in the first place.
Poaching them in oil would be a good idea I guess. This way they’ll be suspended in their perfectly sweet state for at least a couple more days in the chiller.
Okay, so I’m committed to making a tomato confit. They can go into plain olive oil, but adding some extra matching flavors would be really worth considering. Slicing some chorizo and crushing a few cloves of garlic won’t take much prep work anyway.
Perfectly ripe tomatoes, especially these cherries, are naturally sweet and rich in umami. Some Spanish chorizo would add a well-complementing smoky flavor and some saltiness to this confit. To make the flavor profile even more interesting, we’ll be turning to some cloves of garlic for their pungency. To round up the aroma, a few bayleaves and whole black peppercorns will do.
I encourage you to play with your flavors here. Some herbs like rosemary or thyme would definitely work. Some curry spices like cloves, cardamoms, anise, cinnamon sticks would also be wonderful additions. Get to play with your oil too. Sub the olive oil completely with some coconut oil, sunflower, or grapeseed. Going for a neutral-tasting oil would be relatively unnecessary.
Combine everything together in a sous vide bag, adding as much or as little of your oil as you like. You’ll be making an infused oil in the process which you might like for some pasta or crostini.
Get everything cooking in a 140F water bath. My tomatoes needed around 3 hours to get fully soft but still intact. Go play with your cooking time depending on the ripeness of the tomatoes you’ll be using and on how tender you’d like them in the end.
You can go for higher cooking temperatures too if you want a sauce, for which you’ll puree the tomatoes after cooking.
Perfect on pasta, as a side for some grilled meat or fish, or topped on a crostini for an excellent snack or appetizer.
What I personally find excellent in doing this confit though is that it’s a good short-term preservation technique for perishable produce such as these tomatoes.