PSLs have returned to Starbucks, which can only mean one thing: summer is officially over. Sigh. However, before you start reminiscing about the good old days full of fresh burrata salad served with thick slices of juicy heirloom tomatoes that defined summer 2022, we have a way to make sure fruit is so much more than just an adventure. summer, and is called confit.
Although our initial reaction to the dwindling supply of tomatoes as fall fast approaches might be to buy every last tomato in the store and enjoy it for the foreseeable future, it might not be the best way to make the most of one of our favorite fruits. . It turns out that with a little help from a centuries-old cooking technique called confit, we can preserve fruits or vegetables well past their summer prime.
Confit comes from the French term “to conserve” and refers to the technique of slowly cooking food in fat. This liquid immersion culinary method helps preserve food for several months and can be applied to meats, fruits or vegetables. We’re particularly partial to the candied tomatoes and garlic, which are perfect spread on a slice of toasted baguette to enjoy with a glass of red wine.
What is confit?
As mentioned, confit comes from the French word “confire”, which means to preserve. Centuries ago, when refrigeration was not available, this cooking method helped preserve food by slowly cooking it in a liquid inhospitable to bacterial growth. Today, it’s not only a great solution for enjoying seasonal produce long after it’s out of season, but also an easy way to add lots of flavor to some of your favorite foods.
Now, while confit may seem very similar to how you would fry a large batch of French fries, i.e. by tossing them into a large vat of fat or oil, the trick is actually to regulate the temperature closely. When making any confit recipe, you’ll want to keep the temperature low to around 200 degrees Fahrenheit (or potentially even lower, depending on the recipe). Meanwhile, deep frying typically occurs at much higher temperatures, between 325 and 450 degrees Fahrenheit, which produces a very different result in terms of texture and flavor.
How do you make tomato or garlic confit?
One of the most popular ways to apply this technique is with duck confit. However, fruits and vegetables, such as pears, onions, and cherries, can also be preserved using this method. When it comes to summer produce, two of our favorite shapes include lycopene-rich tomato confit and anti-inflammatory garlic confit. So how do you do each? Well, it’s actually quite simple.
For the garlic, you’ll want to fully submerge the peeled cloves in oil in a pan or pot and add flavoring ingredients like rosemary or thyme. Then, slowly cook the mixture over very low heat until the cloves are lightly browned and tender; the idea is *not* to fry them at high temperatures but to lower them to low heat. As well as having super smooth and creamy candied cloves, perfect for spreading on crusty bread, what’s more finish with a delicious garlic and herb-infused oil that you can save to make vinaigrettes, drizzle over delicious potato soup, or to make this delicious garlic confit over crispy rice recipe from TikToker @foodmymuse.
@foodmymuse My transformation into a #garlicgirl is complete with this #garlicconfit in #crispyrice and it could be your new addiction 👌🏻🥵🧄 my use of crispy rice will always be inspired by the one and only chef Nobu Matsuhisa. #recipe #garlicrecipes ♬ Glimpse of Us – Joji
Next, to confit the cherry tomatoes, simply swap out the garlic for tomatoes (or add them along with the allium) and simmer covered in oil until they pop and bubble a bit, like in this TikTok video by @daenskitchen.
@daenskitchen Tomato confit #confit #tomatoconfit ♬ original sound – Daen Lia
confit garlic recipe
Makes 15 servings
30 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup of olive oil
2 sprigs thyme, optional
1 sprig of rosemary, optional
1. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the garlic, olive oil, and herbs. Cook for about two hours or until the cloves are golden brown and tender at about 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. To store candied garlic, cool to room temperature and place in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. You can also store the mixture for about two months. Additionally, the oil can also be used for drizzling or cooking in other recipes.
Reasons garlic is worth stinky breath, according to a registered dietitian: