Tomato Confit is an easy and delicious way to bring fresh summer cherry tomatoes to a variety of dishes. Don't let the cooking time deter you; most of the process is hands off. Makes about 3 cups of confit.
2-1/2poundscherry tomatoes(a mix of red, yellow, and orange, if desired)
4largegarlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1-1/2teaspoonsfinely grated lemon zest
1cupextra virgin olive oil(plus additional, if needed)
1teaspoonkosher or fine-flaked sea salt
1/4teaspoonfreshly-ground black pepper
10-12fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Place cherry tomatoes and garlic cloves in a single layer in a 3-quart baking dish (13 x 9) or gratin. Sprinkle with lemon zest.
Pour olive oil into the dish, coming about halfway up the sides of the tomatoes. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper, and add the herbs to the baking dish. (I like to nestle them between the tomatoes.)
Bake, uncovered, for 1-1/2 to 2 hours (cooking time will depend on the size of the cherry tomatoes). When the tomatoes are ready, the tomatoes will be soft, the skins will look wrinkled and will just be starting to burst in areas. Don't cook the tomatoes until they've fully bursted; they should be soft, but not falling apart.
Cool tomatoes in the pan at room temperature, then place in airtight jars. Pour enough of the cooking oil over the tomatoes to submerge by 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Store, refrigerated for up to 5 days. This recipe is not suitable for freezing or canning.