Cherry Tomato Confit
Cherry Tomato Confit is a super easy side that can jazz up any kind of meal, and requires just 5 minutes prep.
It's also super versatile as you can store these for a few days and use for pasta, risotto or pretty much any dish you want to add some sweetness to.
Up until the end of the 80s, small cluster tomatoes were not found in supermarkets, not to mention "cherry tomatoes" which have now become very popular and highly sought after not just in Italy but also abroad for their characteristic sweetness.
These small tomatoes, sometimes reddish-yellow in color, were grown mainly in family gardens in Sicily and called "da serbo" (meaning "to be saved/stored") because it was customary to hang the bunches away from the elements and store them dry for winter consumption.
In Sicily, they are known as " Pomodori Pachino" because they were first grown in the small coastal village of Pachino. If you visit Pachino at this time of the year, you can still see endless fields of cherry tomatoes all around!
The area - the Siracusa province - is not far from where I'm from and one of the most beautiful parts of Sicily, in my opinion.
Ingredients (for 2)
1 kg cherry tomatoes, preferably ripe
A generous amount of extra virgin olive oil
A few sprigs of oregano or thyme
Fresh basil (preferably the small-leaf kind though regular works as well) to garnish
Place all ingredients, except basil, in a baking tray and bake at 160°C for 1-2 hours. The time will vary largely based on the size and ripeness of your tomatoes but you want them slightly caramelised though not burned. The moisture needs to dry up almost entirely so please resist the urge to increase the temperature to speed up the process, cause this will actually make them completely loose their shape and burn.
Enjoy them, hot or cold, as a side or added to a main course.
Word of the Day
(hot - despite its resemblance to the word 'cold', pronounced càl·do)