Recipe: Confit Tomatoes from ‘The Nimble Cook’

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Illustration @ 2019 by Diana Vassar

This recipe from The Nimble Cook: New Strategies for Great Meals That Make the Most of Your Ingredients by Ronna Welsh is incredibly simple and delicious, and perfectly demonstrates Welsh’s methodical yet versatile style of cooking. You can use this confit in other dishes—say on pasta or a salad—and vary it for seared scallops or a seared fillet of fish. Once this quick confit is made, you have at least two fast, easy, and fresh meals ahead of you. Read the full cookbook review here.

Serves 4Prep time: 5 minutesCook time: 25 minutesTotal time: 30 minutes

1 small lemon

1 big fresh thyme or sage sprig

1 pint cherry tomatoes

3 tablespoons excellent olive oil

¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Though they are cooked, these cherry tomatoes stay remarkably fresh tasting; the juices they release, mixed with olive oil and lemon, become a ready-made sauce. They freeze well too. Come winter, I prefer these to canned tomatoes.—Ronna Welsh 

Remove the zest from the lemon with a vegetable peeler and scrape away any white pith. Cut the lemon flesh into quarters.

Put the thyme, tomatoes, oil, and lemon zest in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cover and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the tomato skins begin to split, 15 to 20 minutes. The tomatoes should sweat and swell, not sauté; if they start to brown, turn the heat down. With tongs, squeeze 2 or 3 split-skinned tomatoes to collapse them and release their juices. Stir, cover again, and cook a few minutes more to slightly thicken the juices. Remove from the heat and add the juice of 1 lemon quarter and the salt. Cool in the pan. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 3 months. Makes 1½ cups.

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