Friday, August 19, 2011

Roasted Tomato Confit

It is officially tomato season, and my google reader feed has just been bombarded with posts about tomatoes. Like this one by Lottie + Doof. It's a tomato cobbler topped with cheddar cheese biscuits. I think I could eat it for dessert and be happy.  Or this tomato salad with crushed croutons from Smitten Kitchen. I've been tempted to preserve tomatoes five ways, as suggested by Food in Jars

I just had to join in the fun with this recipe for roasted tomato confit. While this recipe is not exactly by Patricia Wells, it's inspired by her. She's number 11 on Gourmet Magazine's list of 50 women game changers in food history.

Of the selection, Gourmet wrote: "Milwaukee-born Wells gave us France, spreading the bistro love as the Paris-based restaurant critic of L'Express and the Herald Tribune. She taught us--and reminded the French--about Provencal cooking, and... quoi? An American woman is telling the French what to eat? Oui."

Of the original recipe for these tomatoes, Wells writes: "Nothing can match the pure, wholesome flavor of tomatoes, and no method amplifies tomato essence like a reduction. These are the sun-dried tomatoes of the 1990s--fresh tomatoes that are baked for hours in a very slow oven until much of their moisture evaporates, creating tomatoes with a dense, haunting, rich and pleasant tangy flavor."

I adapted Wells's recipe slightly, replacing the garlic with shallots, omitting the sugar and adding a good deal of butter. After about two hours of slow roasting, these tomatoes were incredibly tender and flavorful.

Wells recommended using the tomatoes in soups, salads, on sandwiches, for pasta, or anywhere else. What I did with these tomatoes is inspired by my dear friend Thomas. You'll just have to wait and see what it was. I'll apologize right now that I have none left to share with you. You would have enjoyed it.

Be sure to check out the other bloggers who made recipes by Patricia Wells this week:
Val - More Than Burnt Toast
Joanne - Eats Well With Others
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan - The Spice Garden
Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Heather - girlichef
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney
Jeanette - Healthy Living
April - Abby Sweets 
Mary - One Perfect Bite
Kathleen -Bake Away with Me
Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen
Sue - The View from Great Island
Barbara - Movable Feasts
Kathleen - Gonna Want Seconds
Amy - Beloved Green 

Roasted Tomato Confit
recipe adapted from Patricia Well's Pure Tomato Confit

3 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
Several shallots (I used 8 or 9)
Olive oil

Prepare the oven to 300 degrees. Slice cherry tomatoes in half, and line the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet with tomatoes. I used several pie pans because my baking sheet does not have a rim. Slice shallots into thin rings, and add to the cherry tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil liberally over the top. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to start. Mix well.

Add about 1 1/2 tablespoon of butter to each pan. Stir one more time, and then place the pans in the oven. Stir every 15 to 20 minutes for two hours, until the tomatoes are incredibly soft and the shallots are caramelized. 


  1. With so many luscious tomatoes at our farm markets this is a perfect way to use them.

  2. I've roasted tomatoes, but never for this long; this must make an incredibly intense flavor. I love the shallots in there, too. I can see a bruschetta in my future. Or a pasta, or maybe pizza. Can't wait to see what you did with it.

  3. Great adaptation! I bet after the slow roasting these were just delightful.

  4. Wonderful! Intense and concentrated, huh? Lovely with that buttery smoothness!

  5. I adore the deep, sweet flavor that roasting tomatoes imparts. This confit is just beautiful...I'd probably hide out with the jar all by myself. Lovely!

  6. This is a fantastic idea for tomatoes - I love them oven roasted and I have a feeling I'd eat the entire batch straight out of the pan!

  7. I love roasted tomatoes, such concentrated sweetness. So interesting reading about all of Patricia Well's accomplishments -she certainly deserves to be recognized.

  8. Katie, Nice job...I love your tomato confit! Great photos! I have been bombarded with tomatoes lately from my garden and have been looking for creative ways to use them. Have a lovely week-end!

  9. This is a beautiful confit and I'm sure it has wonderful depth of flavor. I really like the choice you made for the challenge this week. It is so nice to have you on this journey through the list with us. I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

  10. Ever since making Dorie's roasted tomatoes, I can't get enough of them. This confit looks so good. I also like the sound of that tomato cobbler you mentioned.

  11. Looks fab and perfect for the season! I saw a tomato cheddar pie in the latest Bon Appetit I can't wait to try!