I've been wanting to make my own tomates confites for a while, especially after eating and tremendously enjoying the semi-dried tomatoes I posted about recently.
And then in the tranquility of a Sunday afternoon, I spotted a few roma tomatoes lying lazily on our kitchen counter, getting contentedly riper and riper, quite unaware of what was coming to them. I took them by surprise, and condemned them, I'm afraid, to a slow death in the oven. But at least they were all together. And well seasoned.
I chose to season them with salt, pepper, and chili pepper flakes, but no dried herbs: I wanted to make "plain" tomates confites, and add my choice of herb when using them in a dish. Contrary to what some recipes have you do, I didn't skin the tomatoes before roasting (wasn't the oven enough of an ordeal to go through?) because I enjoy the taste and texture of their skin.
It took three hours to get mine to the consistency I was looking for, where their edges wilt and curl, but there it still the memory of plump flesh.
Slow-roasting concentrates the tomato taste in a subtle and mighty pleasant way, and accentuates their summery sweetness. And because slow-roasted tomatoes freeze well, it's a fine way to preserve a possible glut of garden tomatoes.
- ripe roma tomatoes (or similar variety, firm with little juice)
- fine sea salt, freshly ground pepper
- chili pepper, ground or in flakes (optional)
- dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, oregano... (optional)
- olive oil
Preheat your oven to 100°C (210°F).
Halve the tomatoes, and run your thumb in the cavities to remove the juice and seeds (save and filter the tomato water for drinking). Roma tomatoes have a very thin stem that you can leave in, but if the tomatoes you're using have a tougher stem, carve it out.
Place the tomato halves, cut side up, on a well oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, ground chili pepper, and dried herbs if using. Drizzle with olive oil.
Put into the oven to bake, keeping an eye on them, for 2 to 3 hours depending on the variety and the desired consistency. Use warm or cold in pasta, salads, sandwiches, spreads, etc.
To freeze without clumping, arrange the tomatoes in a single layer on a clean baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and place the baking sheet in the freezer. After a couple of hours, you can transfer them to a freezer-safe container. (Save the parchment paper for another use.)
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