Have you ever heard of a tomato confit?
It may sound very fancy, but in French, confit refers to a particular way of preserving foods. The preserving action is possible thanks to a long cooking time, and a gentle heat. Often they refer to meats, that are cooked slowly in their own juices and/or fat. But we’re plantbased and vegetarian here, so we’re going to slowly roast tomatoes in a blend of herbs and their own juices. And we’ll have ourselves a perfectly sweet tomato confit. On a piece of toast. Because, tomatoes and bread. I know you’re going to love it.
Truth be told, they also make a fruit confit. This would typically happen with a sugar syrup, in which whole fruits like cherries or sections of bigger fruits are cooked/preserved/candied.
This has me wondering if mostarda, a traditional Italian preserve of fruit with mustard, might actually be a take on confit. It is the weirdest thing, I tell you.
I still remember this as if it was just the past day. It was Christmas day, and we were enjoying our traditional family banquet. Nonno used to serve a big bowl of mostarda with cured meats as a starter, or antipasto. The colorful, glistened fruits enticed me with their plump appearance. After trying a small piece from dad’s, I reached for the only cherry in the bowl, excited to savor the sweet juices of the candied fruit. I didn’t know this back then, but they weren’t sweet at all. To my horror, it was terribly spicy! I chocked down that evil thing, and needless to say, I never had a single piece of mostarda again.
Foolish childhood stories aside, it’s time for something truly delicious yet almost effortless. And as sweet as lunch can be. Like a cherry tomato confit, slowly roasted on the vine (because yeah that’s fancy), a thick piece of rye bread, and creamy ricotta.
With so little ingredients, it is terribly important for you to choose quality ones. You’re going to savor each component of the dish, from the sweet and salty tomatoes, the creaminess of the ricotta, and the slight sourness of the rye bread.
As an Italian, finding artisan bread isn’t that hard for me, but I understand that elsewhere it may be quite pricey. The best solution would of course be to make your own, and I’d love to as well. But my poor sourdough starter is long gone, sigh. Anyways, if you do purchase a big artisan loaf, then try to save a few pieces for another delicious recipe I’m going to share soon!
As for the ricotta, the mild, milky flavor goes perfectly well with the other ingredients, mellowing out the contrasts into a delicious bite. If you don’t eat dairy, it can be substituted with some tofu ricotta, or other almond cheese alternatives, if you have access to them. For me, it’s way easier to whip up the vegetarian version using regular ricotta cheese.
Making the tomato confit is the most time-consuming part of the recipe. However, the active time is very little. You can pretty much season the veggies, throw them in the oven on low temperature and forget about them until a sweet and caramelised smell floods your entire house.
Now, this doesn’t mean we’re going to use loads of sugar or fat to make this tomato confit happen. In fact, cherry tomatoes are sweet enough on their own, especially the yellow ones, they barely need any extra sugar. A touch of oil, a sprinkle of salt and coconut sugar and as much fresh herbs as you like, and they’re ready to go.
I baked them whole and on the vine because cherry tomatoes are small enough. However, you can use any kind of tomato to make a tomato confit. Just make sure to halve or quarter any bigger variety, and bake them cut side up. The ways you can use confit tomatoes are almost endless: with pasta, on a summer pizza or focaccia, with aged or soft cheese, or even baked tofu… yum!
Hope you’ll like this simple recipe as much as I do. And if you wish, share with me your best tomato recipes. I’d love to virtually swap some and go crazy with tomatoes!
Let’s connect! I’m on instagram, pinterest, bloglovin’, food52, and YouTube. Let’s be friends!
Until the next time,
the season's best cherry tomatoes are turned into a bright tomato confit, and layered on a rye toast with creamy ricotta and thyme. the perfect light lunch!
- 4 slices artisan rye bread or sourdough, thick
- 150 g fresh wholemilk ricotta
- 300 g cherry tomatoes on the vine
- a handful rainbow cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- a pinch of coconut sugar
- a pinch of salt
- a few sprigs fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 150 C.
Carefully wash vine cherry tomatoes and place them on a baking sheet.
Season with olive oil, a pinch of coconut sugar, a pinch of salt and a few sprigs of thyme.
Bake for 1.5hrs and let cool in the oven. Refrigerate in a glass jar until ready to use.
Lay your thick rye bread slices on a serving plate.
Cream the ricotta cheese with a fork until fluffy, and smear onto the bread. Top each slice with a few confit tomatoes, extra thyme and olive oil if you like.
Whole milk ricotta can be replaced with any soy or nut based alternative, if you do not eat dairy.
The ingredients listed for the cherry tomato confit will yield more than enough to top your toasts off. Store any leftover in the fridge, in an airtight container (glass, if possible), and use up within a few days.