Tomato season is upon us – soon they will be ripe, and in abundance! What to do with all those tomatoes? Canning is great if you have the time, but there is another way to preserve your tomatoes that is much easier, and a great way to enhance the delicious flavor of vine-ripened tomatoes.
Confiting is a method of preservation by slow-cooking in oil, and storing the product under a layer of solidified oil. Bonus: you can do it in your slow cooker!
Basic Tomato Confit Method:
Wash, core and slice 4-5 pounds of tomatoes, about 1 cm thick. Lay tomatoes snugly in a casserole dish or slow cooker, about two-thirds full.
Add: Bayleaf, garlic cloves, herbs, whole allspice, peppercorns, whatever is handy.
Add olive oil to just barely cover the tops of the tomatoes. Cook for 2 to 3 hours at 225° (or low setting for slow cooker), covered and vented.
When finished, the tomatoes should be soft enough to cut with a spoon. Cool and pack into jars, adding oil to cover the top.
Use the tomatoes, tomato juice, and oil for flavors in vinaigrettes, soup/stews, marinades, pasta or flatbread pizza sauces, or as a flavored dipping oil.