Most of the time I think tomatoes are one of nature's most perfect foods. Rarely can anything beat a fresh, ripe tomato (sprinkled with a little salt and pepper). Straight from a garden, with that dusty flavor of sunshine, I could eat them like apples. I think it's a shame to do anything to them. However, there are times when cooking is a necessity, or a luxury. Perhaps when tomato season begins to wane, or maybe at the height of it with a bumper crop, it's time to turn the heat up.
Aside from being an amazingly delicious thing to do to a tomato, this is one of those recipes that you can turn into anything. A foundation recipe, if you will, on which to build a food empire. Confit actually refers to a technique of preserving food, either in salt, sugar, oil, or vinegar (so far as I can tell), but most often "confit" conjures up the taste of tender and rich meat slowly cooked in its own fat (or that of a more generous species).
These tomatoes confit are cooked in a bit of olive oil, not enough to drown them, but just enough so that the oil and tomato juices create a nectar-like emulsion as the liquid concentrates in the oven. A few cloves of garlic thrown into the pan never hurt either.
What to do with all this goodness? Toast some rustic bread and top with the tomatoes; stir in some plump cannellini beans; spoon some onto a delicate white fish. The possibilities are nearly endless.
Tomatoes (cherry tomatoes or quartered Roma tomatoes)
A few cloves of garlic
Olive oil to coat (about 1/4 C. for an 8" pan)
Sprigs of rosemary or thyme if on hand
Toss tomatoes in olive oil in pan. Add in garlic and herbs if using. Bake at 300 for an hour or so, until tomatoes are collapsed and tender.