We’re growing a new variety of tomato (which shall remain nameless at this point, as it is not proving itself to be all that it was cracked up to be!), which tends to split. Especially after a lot of rain like we just had. (To be fair, there are some delicious tomatoes that have this trait. Inconsistent water wreaks havoc with tomatoes.)
I don’t like wasting all those splitters. Sadly, we used to feed them to Martha, Opti, Oreo, Sugar and the rest of our original hens. But they are no longer with us, and throwing one bowl of splitters into a yard of 200 hens is hardly fair, so I’ve had to think of other solutions.
This week I simply cut them all up into chunks, tossed them with olive oil and salt, put them in a heavy roasting pan, and cooked them for about 2 hours at 300°. I checked on them from time to time, stirring and scraping. I cooked them until a lot of the moisture was gone and the texture was kind of jammy. At the very end, I folded in a little minced fresh garlic and a mixture of a small amount of balsamic vinegar and honey, and let the garlic soften and everything infuse for a couple minutes in the oven.
I left the cooked-down tomatoes to cool for a short spell in the pan, and then tasted. Delicious! Even though these tomatoes didn’t start out with a very robust flavor, roasting them down concentrated their flavor (as roasting always does!). The result was kind of a confit (really just a tomato jam or conserve), though with seeds and skins left in, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. The seeds and skins don’t bother me, and considering how dead simple this is—and that it greatly extends the life of a bunch of tomatoes that otherwise would probably rot before you could eat them—it’s a no-brainer. You could literally do it with any tomatoes, any time.
I put the confit in a cute jar just to photograph it—I was not intending to can it or keep it for very long. But I imagine it will keep at least a week in the fridge and would freeze just fine for longer. We’ve put it on top of grilled bread with warm goat cheese, and I’m planning to use the rest in a baked pasta. You could put some on top of scrambled eggs or in a quesadilla (yum), top a pizza or use it as a base for a flavorful rice dish. Why not?
6 thoughts on “When Life Gives You Splitters, Make Tomato Confit”
This looks pretty fabulous! I hate throwing out oldish tomatoes (or anything actually) and this is a perfect use for them. Grilled bread and goat cheese here we come!
What a great idea. We have too many tomatoes at the moment (from our co-op) and I was trying to figure out what to do with them or who else might want some. Will definitely try this with goat cheese on bread. Actually, I like all your suggestions. Thanks so much.
Hi Nina — I guess we have to be grateful that we have “too many tomatoes!” and remember what that’s like come winter! In the meantime, all we need now is time to do stuff with them! Thanks, SUsie
This is a great idea-we seem to have a lot of them this year. Just finished putting together our favorite summer gratin with homegrown tomatoes, zucchini, basil and farmer’s market potatoes. Used English muffin bread crumbs! Susie, this has been a real treat for us every summer since you wrote the FC article in 1999. Thanks!!
Thanks Karen– so glad! I am getting ready to make one of those gratins, too–so perfect for everything we’ve got right now!
Yum- I have roasted Tomatoes similarly for several years now and just think its the best! So quick and easy . . we throw garlic cloves and quartered onions in at the beginning of roasting. We then freeze at the end – ready for so many yummies in the winter. I like the thought of honey and balsamic! The rain has been tough but it has been a pretty good tomato year here in Western NY last summer was a not very good tomato year.
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