The recipe comes from “Simple to Spectacular”, a great cookbook by Vongerichten and Bittman. The book picks one basic ingredient and shows 3 or 4 recipes of increasing complexity. I was looking for a nice dinner salad and came across their “tomato confit” series.
The tomato confit is essentially a slow-roasted tomato, but if you say you made “tomato confit”, your friends will be a lot more impressed. 😉
The preparation of the confit might seem too long, because you need a couple of hours to make it. But it’s 120 minutes of just waiting for the oven to perform its magic…no work. Plus, it is a low oven (275F) that won’t overheat your kitchen. Trust me, the results are worth every minute of the time. If you are not yet convinced to try this recipe, then make sure to read my additional comments.
Choose ripe (but not overly ripe) tomatoes, make a small cross-cut on their skin, drop in boiling water for 20 seconds, then shock them in cold water to peel them easily. In the oven, together with garlic, thyme, and olive oil, they will be transformed into delicious bits of sweet and juicy red jewels that will amaze your taste buds and shine in many different kinds of recipes. Yes, I am in love…
Para receita em portugues, visite o “Cantinho Brasileiro”….
TOMATO CONFIT WITH ARUGULA AND ZUCCHINI
Recipe adapted from “Simple to Spectacular” (page 143)
FOR THE TOMATO CONFIT
12 plum or 6 large tomatoes, peeled, seeds discarded, cut in half
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, peeled, lightly crushed
6 sprigs of thyme (I used silver thyme)
1 tsp coarse salt
Heat the oven to 275F. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush with the olive oil. Place the tomatoes cut side down on the pan. Scatter the garlic and thyme around, sprinkle salt all over.
Bake for 2 hours, turning the tomatoes after 1 hour. Make sure they are not burning, if they seem to be browning too much, lower the heat. The tomatoes are done when they are very soft and shriveled. They will keep refrigerated for a few days, if you do not open the refrigerator and see them there.
FOR THE SALAD
6 cups of arugula
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
slices of Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese (shaved with a veggie peeler)
pieces of tomato confit
salt and pepper to taste
drizzle of oil from confit
Place the arugula on a serving dish. Slice the zucchini lengthwise into long ribbons with a mandoline or veggie peeler. Toss them with some of the olive oil/lemon juice mixture, allow to sit for 5-10 minutes, then lay them on top of the arugula, pouring any remaining dressing over the leaves.
Garnish with Parmiggiano shavings and tomato confit, drizzle some of the confit’s oil all over, season with salt and pepper.
Additional comments – To make this dish weeknight-friendly (I am always trying to make life easier when it comes to cooking after work), you can make the confit on the weekend, or the evening before, and keep it in the fridge. Whatever you do, make more than you think you need. I halved the recipe, but I wish I had kept the amount of confit the same.
The tomatoes are addictive. If you like the taste of sundried tomatoes, but dislike the texture, you will love this confit. I’ve made oven-dried tomatoes before, but this particular method results in tomatoes with more moisture, and in my opinion, much better flavor. I can imagine them incorporated into countless other dishes: as a pasta sauce, topping for bruschetta, topping for chicken cutlets or salmon steaks, blended with chicken stock for tomato soup (with creme fraiche or pesto swirled on top)…
The confit oil could be bottled and sold as an aphrodisiac. Or at least as some kind of magic potion for gastronomic bliss. 😉