In the days that I have been injured & off my feet, my garden has been pushing out the tomatoes. Since I cannot wade into the over growth myself (have to keep my bandages clean and dry!) when friends come by to visit I ask one favor of them, “Could you bring in any tomatoes that are falling off the vine?”
I have decided to ignore the rest of the garden in order to keep my sanity, but I cannot sacrifice the tomatoes!
With a glut of tomatoes and limited time on my feet I have been finding non active ways of processing them. The red heirloom and plum tomatoes are a no-brainer. I core them and toss them into the crock pot for an easy tomato sauce. The purple and green tomatoes usually get eaten in salads and sandwiches. I save the pretty yellow tomatoes to use for tomato jam.
This recipe/technique was refined by my mother and served often as a spread for crustini. Over the years we have used it as spread on crackers, on sandwiches, over pasta and in ravioli. I can’t get enough of it. The sweet cooked tomato is so addicting that I even eat it cold.
The best part about it is that it is EASY. I like to use cherry or grape tomatoes. The grape tomatoes will cook down a little faster and become a little bit sweeter. I HAVE to add cheese, it is just part of the package but of course the cheese is easily left out. My favorite is goat cheese, but feta and homemade ricotta are extra tasty too. Adjust the herbs to your liking.
The pasta pictured above is tossed with tomato confit, fresh ricotta, parmesan, and basil from the garden.
Cherry Tomato Confit
- 2 pints cherry/grape/pear tomatoes (minimum! These babies cook down)
- 2Tb olive oil (enough to make the tomatoes shiny)
- Salt to taste
- 4 cloves garlic (crushed with a knife)
- 2-3Tb cheese (goat, feta, parmesan, ricotta….)
- 2Tb fresh herbs (basil, oregano, thyme….)
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees or alternately use the broiler on low.
Arrange the tomatoes in one layer on a baking stone or jelly roll pan. Choose a pan with sides because the tomatoes will release a lot of juice before they start to cook down. Coat the tomatoes and garlic with olive oil and salt.
Place the tomato pan in the upper half of the oven. Stir tomatoes as they begin to explode and start to caramelize. Cooking time will vary according to the size of your tomatoes and how much liquid they release. When the tomatoes are dark and the juice has turned thick (approx. 30 min) remove them from the oven and stir in the fresh herbs and cheese.
Serve warm with crusty bread. To extend this into a pasta sauce, loosen the tomatoes up with some olive oil or cream.