I’m finally getting to the Chef Travis Lett Cherry Tomato Confit recipe that caught my eye back in the dark days of our long COVID winter. Tomatoes worthy of this luscious confit recipe are strictly summer fare. So I waited until the good tomatoes at the Hollywood farmers market were in season.
Besides, I’ve been away. I spent January in Santa Barbara, California. Which was soon followed by three months in Greece. Most recently I escaped our giant national heatwave with three weeks in the cool summer fog on the Central Coast of California. I’ve been missing my kitchen (and the tasks associated with it). Especially seasonal tasks.
Travis Lett’s Cherry Tomato Confit is the very definition of a seasonal task.
But it’s a relatively simple task. Granted, peeling the tomatoes may be a little “fiddly” but it’s not difficult. I consider it one of those kitchen tasks I’ve been missing.
The easy part comes when the skinned tomatoes are cooked slowly in olive oil strewn with sheets of fresh basil. Travis Lett also includes lots of fresh thyme sprigs but I think a simpler more tomato-forward approach works better.
Be sure and wrap the baking dish in foil so no steam escapes. The best part of this recipe is peeling back the foil – Jiffy-Pop style – on the cooled tomatoes.
These tomatoes are inexplicably luxurious in taste and texture. They’re very different than tomatoes you may have oven-roasted in the past. That’s because you bothered to peel the tomatoes and gently poach them in the oven. They can’t help but relax into tender submission.
This is a recipe that you want to save until you’re endowed with an overwhelming abundance of desperately ripe summertime cherry tomatoes from your garden. Or do as I did and choose them from the farmers market end-of-day “use them or lose them” extra-ripe section.
The finished Cherry Tomato Confit will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks as long as they are completely covered in oil. You can can save them indefinitely if you store them in jars that have been properly cleaned and sealed.
At Gjelina Travis Lett “spoons these over grilled vegetables or fish”. But they are also good gently re-heated and slathered on thick-cut toast – the warm, herb-scented oil soaking through the charred bread. You could top this tomato toast with anchovy fillets and black olives. I would. But that’s all I’ll say about serving suggestions. I’m sure it’s not hard for you to think of quick, delicious dishes that can be easily made once you have some Cherry Tomato Confit sitting in the refrigerator. GREG