By Susie Davidson Powell
Is there anything not improved by tomatoes? I’m a huge fan of tiny ones straight off the vine, all warm and earthy from the sunshine. And I always freeze those fat end-of-summer tomatoes to have all winter long for heart-warming stews. You heard that right: I just wash them and freeze them whole. Zero effort. Take them straight out of the freezer, plunge into hot water and their skins will pull right off.
Meanwhile, I always have a jar of tomato shallot confit in my fridge. The beauty of tomato confit is that the juices from cherry tomatoes, garlic and shallots roasted in a pool of olive oil create a rich, unctuous, delectable sauce that you can swirl through pasta or mound onto hot, buttered toast. When you have eaten all the tomatoes and shallots, you’re still left with some of the tomato-infused oil that adds body, richness and bold umami flavor to anything you might cook in a pan from seared steak to wilted greens.
Since you’re roasting the tomatoes, garlic and shallots in olive oil with only a pinch of sea salt, the olive oil is the star of the show which makes Piro. Extra Virgin Olive Oil the perfect partner.
You’ve probably heard the cocktail advice that “if three-quarters of your cocktail is the mixer, mix with the best quality you can find.” Same goes here. You’ll be consuming every drop of the olive oil you use, so although the recipe calls for a full cup, consider it an investment in flavor. You’ll be making this in a quantity you can save in the fridge for up to two weeks, though I usually get through mine in a week. I hope you’ll make this – it’s truly one of my hands-down favorites, a workhorse in the kitchen and absolutely delicious.
Tomato shallot confit
1.5 lbs cherry tomatoes, assorted colors or red
6-8 whole shallots, peeled and segmented, or halved
2-3 cloves garlic, smashed with the flat edge of a large knife
1 cup of Piro. olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Scatter tomatoes in a roasting tray that’s not too large so the tomatoes are snug.
- Smash the garlic cloves and scatter on top.
- Position the divided or halved shallots throughout the dish.
- Pour over 1 cup of Piro. Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- Take a pinch of crunchy sea salt and scatter on top. Stir lightly to coat.
- Roast on 350F until fully softened and blistered. Usually between 30 and 45 minutes depending how firm the tomatoes are. (If you’re using up older, wrinkled tomatoes they cook faster.)
- Use or leave to cool. Save in a jar in the fridge. To use, remove and bring to room temp.