Tomato Confit

oven dried Early Girl tomatoes
Photo by Karen Solomon

Sweet tomato flavor, particularly the Early Girl, San Manzano, or Roma varieties, doesn’t have to end with summer. Tomato confit – dried tomatoes cured in olive oil – is a terrific compliment to salads, pizza, skillets, pasta, sandwiches, roasts, soups, and much more.

Wash, stem, and halve a whole bunch of tomatoes. We suggest 10 lbs. or more, as dried tomatoes really shrink in volume. Not everyone has a dehydrator, but if you do, this is a great time to use it. Assuming you don’t, though, your oven is a great tool for dehydrating.

Line two large-rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange the tomatoes close together in a single layer, cut side up, and sprinkle them with a bit of kosher salt to add flavor and help pull out moisture. Heat the oven to 200 degrees, and then place the trays on two oven racks in the lowest part of the oven. Stick a wooden spoon in the door to help moisture escape. Let the tomatoes dry for about 8-10 hours, switching the positions of the trays halfway through. The tomatoes should be dry and firm, but still soft and tender.

Dip the dried tomatoes in distilled white vinegar to help kill bacteria and add flavor. Then, pack the tomatoes firmly into large jars with tight-fitting lids. Cover the tomatoes by one inch with high-quality extra virgin olive oil and store them in the refrigerator. The delicious tomatoes and the tomato-flavored oil will last for many months.