Recipe for the Weekend|Tomato Confit

Add a touch of Californian sunshine to your autumn with this delicious new cookbook from Chronicle Books; Gjelina.

Gjelina is Los Angeles’s most talked-about restaurant for its seductive simplicity and eclectic Cal-Med menu from talented chef Travis Lett. The Gjelina cookbook features 125 of the restaurants rustic and utterly delicious dishes that have had fans clamoring for a table since it burst onto the scene. Do you love Ottolenghi’s Plenty? Then this is the cookbook for you!

Try out the sumptuous recipe for Tomato Confit!

© 2015 by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott.


Tomato Confit

MAKES 2 CUPS [520 G] / These preserved tomatoes are amazingly versatile. We cook with them all year-round.

When fresh tomatoes are out of season, canned San Marzano tomatoes can be prepared in the same way, adding depth of flavor and complexity to an ingredient that can otherwise taste ordinary. Be sure to use the tomato oil on anything that tastes better with a little olive oil and tomato, which is just about everything.

3 lb [1.4 kg] tomatoes, such as Roma or Early Girl

Kosher salt

10 garlic cloves, smashed

10 fresh thyme sprigs

1 Tbsp dried oregano

Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups [480 ml] extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

Preheat the oven to 250°F [120°C]. Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Prepare an ice-water bath by filling a large bowl with ice water.

Use a paring knife to score a small X in the bottom of each tomato. Plunge the tomatoes into the boiling water for 20 seconds, and immediately transfer them to the ice-water bath. Work in batches, if necessary, until all the tomatoes have been blanched.

Tomato Confit from Gjelina
© 2015 by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott.

When the tomatoes are cool, remove them from the water. With a sharp paring knife, peel the skin from the tomatoes; it should slip off easily. Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters, depending on size, and gently pull the seeds out with your fingers. The tomatoes do not need to be perfectly seedless, but do your best to clean them so just the tomato flesh remains.

Place the tomatoes in a shallow baking dish or roasting pan and season with salt. Scatter the garlic, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes over the tomatoes. Pour the olive oil over all. Bake until the tomatoes are shriveled and browned around the edges, 3 to 4 hours. Turn them and move them around occasionally while baking so that the tomatoes closest to the edge of the pan don’t burn. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month, completely covered with olive oil to prevent air from reaching them.

Gjelina is out next week, pre-order your copy NOW!


Gjelina: California Cooking from Venice Beach

Travis Lett, photographs by Michael Graydon and Nikole Herriott

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