Roasted Cherry Tomato Confit. Photo for The Washington Post by Scott Suchman

Should you find yourself in the enviable position of having too many cherry tomatoes – you got bedazzled at the farm stand, your garden is an overachiever or maybe the grocery store had a sale – here’s a strategy for you: Toss them on a sheet pan, drizzle exuberantly with olive oil, season and then roast at high heat.

Along with plenty of olive oil, the intense heat transforms the tomatoes from simple and sweet to nuanced and deeply flavored. While not technically a “confit,” which means the ingredient has been slowly cooked in fat so it absorbs and is partially preserved by it, the roasted tomatoes will be fragrant and luscious.

Any variety of cherry tomato will work well except “grape” type, which are not as juicy as their rounder cousins. If you want to use grape tomatoes, mix them with rounder varieties. To keep the consistency uniform and juicy, halve larger tomatoes and use a mix of colors and shapes. Each type of cherry tomato has its own personality; I highly recommend Sungolds – for an eye-catching complex-tasting confit.

For seasoning, I generally stick to salt, but a bit of cracked black pepper, Aleppo pepper or dried chile flakes would be nice. For herbs, I like thyme, rosemary or both, but marjoram, oregano or savory also work well. Tender, leafy herbs – such as tomato’s BFF basil – should be added after cooking to avoid burning. Whole garlic cloves can also be dreamy, provided they don’t burn; you may need to do some scooching to keep them bathed in oil and juice.

You may find yourself eating the finished confit right from the sheet pan, but hold back – the destinations for roasted tomato confit are many and varied, and include any dish that would benefit from its sweet-tart flavor and the richness of the olive oil and tomato juice.

Here are a few ideas:


• Top grilled bread spread with a thick swoosh of ricotta or whipped feta.

• Garnish anything grilled, especially a white-fleshed fish, such as halibut, chicken breast, or a skirt or flank steak.

• Fold into a pot of tender white beans as a hearty side dish.

• Reset your Caprese salad by layering slices of fresh mozzarella with spoonful of tomato confit.

• Toss into just-drained pasta noodles and top with a big pinch of sliced basil and a shower of grated parmesan.

• Blitz up with hummus to make an umami-rich dip for vegetables and pita.


Roasted Cherry Tomato Confit on toast with ricotta cheese. Photo for The Washington Post by Scott Suchman

Roasted Cherry Tomato Confit

This is more of a guide than a precise recipe. Any variety of cherry tomato will work; you can use more or less olive oil, salt or herbs. The exact quantity of tomatoes is not critical. Rather, you want them in a snug, single layer.

As the tomatoes roast, they’ll probably produce a lot of juice. If you see that the tomatoes are starting to swim, carefully pour off as much of the juice as you can without all the tomatoes tumbling off the pan. If the juice is tasty, leave it as is, or if you want a more intense sweet-tangy flavor, simmer the juice until concentrated and syrupy. Once the tomatoes have finished roasting, reunite them with the juice.

Serve the tomatoes as a topping for bruschetta, a simple pasta sauce, or an accompaniment to grilled fish, chicken or steak.

8 servings (makes about 1 quart)

Active time: 10 mins; Total time: 30 mins, plus cooling time


Storage: Refrigerate up to 5 days.


4 to 5 pints (about 3 1/2 pounds) cherry tomatoes, stemmed and halved if large (see headnote)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

1/2 teaspoon fine salt, plus more to taste

A generous sprinkling of fresh thyme and/or rosemary leaves, roughly chopped (optional)


Water, as needed


Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Pour the oil over them, sprinkle with the salt and scatter the herbs over, if using. Toss the tomatoes until coated in oil, then rearrange them in a snug, single layer.

Roast the tomatoes for 20 to 30 minutes, or until slightly blistered and browned, with many split to release their juices. Halfway through roasting, check the tomatoes: If a lot of juice accumulates, carefully pour it off and set aside (see headnote). If the tomatoes start to dry out and burn on the pan, add a few tablespoons of water.

Transfer the baking sheet to a heatproof surface and let rest until cool to the touch, about 30 minutes. Pour any reserved juices over the tomatoes.

Eat right away, or transfer to a clean, lidded jar, along with the juices. Add enough oil to cover the surface of the tomatoes, and refrigerate until needed.

Nutrition | Per serving (1/2 cup): 155 calories, 8g carbohydrates, 0mg cholesterol, 14g fat, 2g fiber, 2g protein, 2g saturated fat, 158mg sodium, 5g sugar

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