This smoked tomato confit with rosemary and garlic is such a delicious twist on the classic. The tomatoes absorb a subtle but complex smoky flavor, making them so delicious. And if you don't have a smoker, don't worry - instructions to make this smoky tomato confit without a smoker are included! You'll definitely want to get your hands on some good tomatoes before summer is over to make this. It's super easy plus it's naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.
It's August and tomato season is in full swing! If you're anything like me, you're probably eating copious amounts of sweet summer tomatoes while you can.
I recently shared a recipe for one of my favorite things to do with tomatoes - tomato confit. But I remembered a while back, I had a delicious appetizer at a French restaurant that consisted of a thick slice of smoky tomato confit sitting in a flavorful broth.
So I decided, why not try to make my own smoked tomato confit? I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
If you're trying to make as many tomato recipes as you can this summer, then you absolutely need to try my tomato panzanella with feta - I am obsessed with it. And of course, what is summer without a big bowl of authentic fattoush salad.
What is Confit?
Confit, which is pronounced "con-fee", comes from the French word confire, which means to preserve. It is a method used to meat, fruits, and vegetables.
To confit something means it is slowly cooked in its own fat if it's a meat, or in oil in the case of vegetables. To make fruit confit, a concentrated sugar syrup is used.
When properly prepared with the right ingredients, a confit can be stored at room temperature for an extended period of time. This makes it possible to preserve lots of seasonal produce.
If you want to understand the difference between confit and roasting, check out my tomato confit post where I explain it in detail.
- Heirloom tomatoes: I love using thick slices of heirloom tomatoes, but you can use beefsteak tomatoes if you prefer.
- Garlic: You can make smoked tomato confit without garlic, but I love the extra flavor it adds to the oil and tomatoes. Plus the soft garlic confit is addictive on toast!
- Fresh rosemary: The flavor of rosemary really complements the smoky tomatoes. But you can use any other woody herbs that you enjoy.
- Extra virgin olive oil: Use a good oil because you can later use it in salad dressings, dipping bread, and sautéing vegetables.
If using a smoker, preheat it to 225°F. That's about 107°C. The key is low and slow so don't up the temperature to rush the process.
I used a pellet smoker and filled it with a blend of hickory, maple, and cherry which is pre-mixed in this signature blend.
You can also smoke the tomato confit in a charcoal grill using your favorite low and slow method. If you've never smoked something in a charcoal grill, I recommend the snake method. For a tutorial with lots of photos, check out this post by Perth BBQ School and bring your grill to a temperature of around 225°F.
If you have neither, guess what - you can totally make a smoky tomato confit right in your oven! So preheat your oven to 225°F.
In the meantime, remove the stems and cut the tomatoes into half-inch thick slices or large wedges. You could go thicker if you want, but not thinner. We need the tomato slices to stay in tact.
Next, peel the garlic cloves and scatter them across a 9x13 inch baking dish. You can leave them whole or slice them in half if you prefer.
Add most of the rosemary sprigs along with the garlic. This will create a flavorful bed for your tomato slices.
After that, place your tomato slices or wedges on top of the garlic and rosemary. You can place them in a single layer or slightly overlapping. But do not stack them, as the smoke flavor will not penetrate very well, if at all.
Sprinkle the tomatoes generously with salt, add a little more rosemary on top, then start drizzling in the olive oil. Normally, for a traditional confit, you'd want to completely submerge the tomatoes with olive oil. But smoke does not penetrate oil very well.
So in order to get that nice smoky flavor, do not submerge the tomatoes. I recommend adding enough oil to go halfway up the tomato slices or wedges. That way the smoke can penetrate the exposed parts of the tomatoes and flavor them.
If you are using your oven to make this smoky tomato confit, you can mix a little bit of liquid smoke with water and brush it all over the tomatoes before drizzling the olive oil all over.
If you don't want to use liquid smoke, I have another option for you to use at the end of cooking time.
Place the baking dish in the smoker, charcoal grill, or oven and cook for about two and a half to three hours. It may take more or less time depending on the size of your tomatoes.
The smoked tomato confit is ready when the tomatoes and garlic are soft, but the tomato slices or wedges are still plump and in tact.
If you are making this recipe in the oven and don't want to use liquid smoke, after the confit is ready, grab a piece of charcoal and using tongs, place it over a flame on your stovetop for a few minutes, until it has red fiery spots.
Once it's there, place the hot coal in a small stainless steel or glass bowl. Then add a little bit of vegetable oil to get it smoking. Nestle the bowl inside the baking dish with the tomato confit, and cover the entire dish immediately to trap the smoke inside of it. You can use a lid or aluminum foil to make a tight seal.
Let it smoke for about a minute or two, depending on how strong of a smoky flavor you want. Then uncover and remove the bowl with the hot coal carefully.
Note that this method will create smoke, so to err on the side of caution, you can set the baking dish outside while it's smoking to prevent a lot of smoke inside your house.
If you'd like to watch a video of how to smoke tomato confit with a piece of charcoal, check out this helpful video on YouTube by Raihana's Cuisine.
Once your smoked tomato confit is done, let it cool completely, then discard the rosemary and transfer to sterilized or airtight containers. Make sure everything is completely submerged in olive oil, as that will prevent oxidation and mold.
You can store the smoked tomato confit in the fridge for one week if you used garlic, or several week if you didn't.
The olive oil will solidify in the refrigerator, so you'll need to spoon out the amount you want and let it sit at room temperature before serving or using.
How To Use Smoked Tomato Confit
This recipes makes for a very delicious condiment and side dish. Here are some of my favorite ways to eat smoked tomato confit:
- Labneh toast: Toast some crusty bread, then spread the soft confit garlic cloves on it like butter, spread some labneh, and top it with a thick, juicy piece of smoked tomato confit. Sprinkle it with some flaky salt and dig in! If you want it dairy-free, omit the labneh or use a plant-based ricotta.
- Avocado toast: Top it with smoked tomato confit and a fried or poached egg - it's the ultimate breakfast.
- Whipped feta: Whip up some feta, spread it on a plate, and top it with smoked tomato confit slices, garlic confit, and lots of the infused olive oil. Serve it with crusty bread and impress our guests!
- Pasta: Elevate your pasta and top it with some smoked tomato confit or include it in the sauce.
- Topping for meat: Add a thick slice of smoked tomato confit over grilled chicken or fish with some infused olive oil to elevate your dinner in a pinch.
- Grazing board: Place a bowl of smoked tomato confit on a grazing board and enjoy it with crackers, cheese, and charcuterie.
I could go on but you get it! Add some smoked tomato confit to almost anything you want to eat and you won't regret it!
Substitutions and Variations
This recipe is naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan.
- Garlic: I love using tons of garlic, but you can adjust the amount to your liking or completely omit it.
- Herbs: You can use fresh thyme instead of rosemary, or a combination of the two.
- Spicy: For some heat, add some crushed red pepper, cayenne pepper, or aleppo pepper.
- Sugar: If your tomatoes are not very sweet, you can add a couple teaspoons of sugar to enhance their sweetness.
- Balsamic vinegar: For added depth of flavor, you can add a couple teaspoons of balsamic vinegar.
Tips on Making The Best Smoked Tomato Confit
- Find the best tomatoes. There's not really a point in preserving tomatoes that aren't so delicious to start with. Grab some good tomatoes from your local farmers market or become friends with a home gardener.
- Be patient. For the first hour and a half, if you peek into the smoker or oven, you won't see much of a difference. The low heat is very gentle, so you have to be patient.
- Use an olive oil you enjoy on its own. The olive oil will be infused with lots of delicious flavor from the tomatoes, garlic, and rosemary. So use one you would enjoy dipping some bread in or using in salad dressings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Once cooled, remove the rosemary and transfer the confit to sterilized jars or airtight containers and make sure they are fully covered with olive oil. Store in the fridge for one week.
Yes, you can freeze smoked tomato confit up to 3 months.
I haven't personally done it, but according to some, you can water bath can tomato confit. For reliable information, check out the resources by the National Center For Home Food Preservation.
Use that delicious, infused oil like you would with regular olive oil! Make dressings with it or sauté some vegetables in it. You could also pour it into a plate with balsamic vinegar for dipping bread. Or spoon some of that delicious oil over a plate of labneh, hummus, or baba ghannoush. So many ways to use it!
See My Latest Recipes For More Delicious Ideas
- One-Minute Homemade Mayonnaise (Immersion Blender)
- Cucumber Mint Yogurt Salad (Cacik)
- Smoked Tomato Confit
- Lebanese Mint Lemonade (Limonana)
- The Best Lebanese Lemonade
If you’ve tried making this Smoked Tomato Confit or any other recipe on Forks & Foliage, then please don't forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! I would be so happy to hear how it turned out for you. And if you took any photos or videos, please share them with me on Instagram @forksandfoliage so I can see the deliciousness you made!
Smoked Tomato Confit
- Preheat the smoker, charcoal grill, or oven to 225°F.
- Scatter the peeled garlic cloves and most of the fresh rosemary on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
- Add the tomato slices on top in a single layer or slightly overlapping. Sprinkle evenly with salt, then place the remaining rosemary on top and add the olive oil. If using liquid smoke, mix it with a little bit of water to dilute it and brush it over the tomato slices before drizzling the olive oil all over. Do not submerge the tomatoes in olive oil - add enough oil to go halfway up the tomatoes at the most.
- Place in the preheated smoker, charcoal grill, or oven and let it cook for about 3 hours, or until the tomatoes and garlic are soft but still in tact. (See note below if using the oven method without liquid smoke.)
- Let the confit cool completely then transfer to an airtight container, submerge in oil, and store in the fridge if not serving immediately.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and may vary.