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The best way to describe these would be like an instant pop of passata in your mouth in every tomato. When tomatoes are abundant, consider making a bunch and freezing the excess in batches, capturing a little summer sunshine in every container. These cherry tomatoes make for an incredible addition to pasta sauces, on top of bruschetta, or on your antipasti platter – or even on top of your focaccia!
Chilli flakes, to taste (see tips)
1kg cherry tomatoes (see tips)
5-6 large garlic cloves, halved
1/2 cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon caster sugar
Salt flakes, to taste
Preheat your oven to 120C (100C fan).
Pop cherry tomatoes onto a tray, truss included. Drizzle the olive oil evenly over the tomatoes, sprinkle caster sugar and sea salt across the tray, then scatter the garlic and chilli flakes over the top.
Pop the dish in the oven and cook the tomatoes for 1 ½ – 2 hours until they’re very tender, but still keep their shape. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and leave them to cool a little. If you’re not using them immediately, transfer them and their lovely herby oil to a container with a tight-fitting lid and store them in the fridge.
They keep well for 2 weeks or so, just remember to return them to room temperature, or warm them gently, before serving.
You don’t have to use chilli if you’d prefer to keep this milder. I’ve left the measurement off intentionally, to let you choose your own adventure. A scant teaspoon is about standard if you need a jumping-off point.
If you’d prefer a more delicate mouthfeel, consider blanching the skins off your tomatoes before the confit. Pop an ‘x’ in the bottom of each, then submerge into boiling water for 20 seconds, then straight into a bowl of iced water. The skins will slip right off. Alternatively, if using larger tomatoes, consider blanching and deseeding for an even more delicate result.
If you have a bunch of Roma tomatoes handy, you can use this recipe too – just slice the tomatoes into 6-8 wedges and line them up skin-side down in the pan.
Based on the Confit Chilli Tomatoes recipe from In Praise of Veg.