Have you ever gone to an Italian restaurant and gotten bread dipping oil? You know that little dish of good EVOO and MAYBE a splash of balsamic vinegar or a tsp of some dry Italian herbs. Well this is that… but better. This puttanesca bread dipping oil has all the briny and salty familiar flavors that you love in a puttanesca sauce, but for a crusty loaf of bread. Perfect for a gathering or date night, but honestly if you want to eat this solo, been there, done that. So grab some crusty bread and start dipping.
The term confit is a traditional French cooking method that simply means to slow cook something submerged in fat or oil. Similarly to garlic confit, tomato confit is slow cooked tomatoes in olive oil. While I am calling these tomatoes a confit, we are actually not cooking them for multiple hours in this recipe… because we really don’t have time for that. The results are still the same, softened, super sweet tomatoes, and a umami packed olive oil perfect for this dipping oil. For this specific recipe all you need is tomatoes and olive oil, however the possibilities are endless when it comes to making tomato confit. Add in your favorite herbs or garlic to add another dimension of flavor.
Just like garlic confit, storing and food safety is critical. If you are consuming this immediately, then no worries. However If you are prepping the tomatoes in advance just beware that poor storage and handling can lead to botulism. Due to the PH level of tomatoes (same with garlic) there is not enough acid to prevent botulism. If prepping in advance let the tomatoes cool down and then transfer them to a clean airtight container, and place it in the refrigerator. NEVER store at room temperature, I can’t express this enough. While studies have shown that it is probably safe to consume within 7 days, best bet is don’t let it go over 3.
Confit the Tomatoes – Preheat your oven to 375F degrees. In a small ramekin, croquette, or another small oven safe dish add your cherry tomatoes. Fill the container 3/4 of the way with extra virgin olive oil and pop it in the oven for about 30 minutes. The tomatoes will have burst opened and softened. It is SO important to not fill the entire container up with olive oil to avoid a potential oven disaster. Also tip of advice, put your container on a sheet pan just in case the oil does bubble over.
Assemble – Quantity of ingredients is completely up to you depending on how many people you are serving. With that said you want this to be chunky, more toppings than olive oil. My suggestion for 2-3 people is 10 oz of tomatoes, and 2-3 tbsp of each of the additional ingredients. In a bowl add confit tomatoes, minced anchovies, smashed kalamata olives, capers, and top with the tomato confit oil. If you need more oil feel free to top it off with some more EVOO.
While this is a super easy recipe to pull together on a whim it is also a great one to prep in advance. The tomato confit can be made 1-2 days in advance, when ready to whip it all together place the tomatoes in the olive oil on the stove on low heat. Once warm add it to a bowl the with remainder of the ingredients. I don’t suggest you store leftovers, considering you will be multi dipping.