Stovetop tomato confit
Recipe no. 51 by Natasha Pickowicz
Recipe ( Serves four )
2 cups small tomatoes
2 cups olive oil
1 head garlic
½ teaspoon crushed chili
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Handful of fresh herbs, like thyme or sage
Place all of the ingredients into a small pot. The tomatoes should be fully submerged; add more oil if needed so the tomatoes can bob freely. Very gently warm the mixture over medium-low heat, to the faintest simmer. (A hard boil will cause the tomato skins to split). Cook, uncovered until the tomatoes are shrunken and glossy and the garlic is soft and golden, about 90 minutes. Let cool completely at room temperature before storing in the fridge. To serve, fry thickly sliced pieces of bread in a spoonful of tomato oil, until golden and crisp. Smear the softened garlic on top, then spoon tomatoes all over.
The tomatoes are delicious over hummus, a warm piece of fish, with whipped ricotta, but really, just about anything you can think of. Runny eggs, brothy beans, crunchy toast, cold noodles—nearly everything benefits from a water balloon-like burst of richness and acidity. The oil is delicious as a warm salad vinaigrette, whisked with vinegar and honey, or as a marinade for roasting squash or onions. Or, strain the oil through a coffee filter and use it again for future confit exploration.
Kept in an airtight container for up to a month.