Saturday, 14 March 2009

Confit Tomatoes

From Heston Blumenthal

Confit tomatoes are totally delicious and can be served with just about anything you want. The slight amount of fiddling around in the method pays off big time in terms of flavour.

I have suggested four hours of oven time, but this is a vague guide, as the ripeness of the tomatoes will have a significant effect on the end result. Remember to use only the best-quality, ripest tomatoes you can find.

It might be worth making more than the amount I have suggested, as confit tomatoes store well for at least a month if you cover them with olive or groundnut oil, add the aromatics they were cooked with and place in an airtight container in the fridge.


1 clove garlic
10 basil leaves
10 sprigs thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
10 tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
½ level tsp caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 120C/250F/Gas Mark . Peel and finely slice the garlic. Cut each basil leaf in two and break up the thyme sprigs. Roughly chop the bay leaves.

Bring a medium-sized saucepan of water to the boil. With the pointed end of a potato peeler or a small, sharp knife, cut out the core of the tomatoes and lightly mark a cross on their undersides.

Carefully drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 10 seconds, lift out and plunge into iced water. (If they are not quite ripe enough, they may need to be returned to the hot water for a few seconds. Do not leave them in there for too long or they will become mushy.) When cool, remove from the iced water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Peel off the skin.

Slice the tomatoes in half lengthways (vertically) and scoop out the seeds, making sure that you remove the white pith. Dab the insides dry with kitchen paper. Leave the tomatoes on a few sheets of kitchen paper for an hour or so, to allow them to dry a bit more.

Generously brush the tomatoes all over with the olive oil and lay them out on a baking sheet so the insides are facing upward. Put a slice of garlic, some basil, thyme and bay in each cavity. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with the sugar.

Put in the oven for 4 hours or so, turning the tomatoes halfway through. When done, the tomatoes will have turned a deep, vibrant red and be slightly wrinkled.

No comments:

Post a Comment