95. Confit Tomatoes & White Beans
This was stonking though I do say so myself and you really should try it! I will definitely be making this again and again, it is rich and intense and feels completely nourishing too.
It began when I suddenly came over all autumnal and decided to slowly confit all the tomatoes kicking around the fruit bowl, and also the shallots lurking at the bottom of our fridge draw. I made more than needed for dinner but they will keep for ages in the fridge and are great squished on toast or thrown in with the pan juices of a roast just out of the oven; amongst other things. The leftover flavoured oil can be used for lots of purposes too.
We ate this with grilled steak skewers and horseradish but it didn't neccessarily need it! Just a grating of parmesan and bread for mopping and you've got a perfect autumn supper and lovely leftovers. Alternatively would be fab with a plump roast chicken and some aioli, or add other veg such as cubed roasted squash and some stock to make a soup.
The confit takes a good 3 hours in the oven but like I said the veg will then keep for ages and be ready to chuck in the pan with the beans for a really quick meal.
For 3-4, depending what you're having with it, plus leftover confit vegetables
400g banana shallots
800g mixed size tomatoes
10 cloves of garlic, 8 peeled and left whole, 2 crushed
400ml olive oil
4tsp soft dark brown sugar
4tsp balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs rosemary
8 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs sage
300g cavolo nero, stems removed and discarded, leaves roughly torn
400g tin quality cooked white beans, haricot or cannellini
Fresh parmesan or other hard cheese, and sourdough bread, to serve.
For the confit heat the oven to 120 fan.
Cut the shallots in half lengthways and remove the outer papery skin. Place them into a roasting tin or casserole that will fit them snugly in one layer. Repeat with the tomatoes in a separate snug fitting casserole, cutting any large ones in half through their bellies (not top to bottom!) Divide the whole garlic cloves between each dish and pour on enough olive oil to almost entirely cover the veg. Season generously with salt and pepper, then sprinkle over the sugar and vinegar. Tuck in the herb sprigs, give each pan a shake to disperse everything, and cook, uncovered for 3 hours by which time the vegetables will be completely soft and intensely flavoured. They can now be eaten straight away or left to cool and stored in airtight containers along with their oil, in the fridge to use as and when.
For the bean stew melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the crushed garlic. When the butter is sizzling add the torn cavolo nero and turn over a few times until it is coated and glistening. Fry for 2-3 minutes then add some seasoning and a little splash of water, cover with a lid, reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Remove the lid, add the beans then spoon in enough tomatoes and shallots to feed your tribe, along with some of the whole cloves of confit garlic and a several spoons of the confit oil which will begin to emulsify with the liquid from the cabbage. Increase the heat to medium and bring to a simmer to warm everything through, adding a little more water if needed until there is a nice sauce coating everything in a stew like fashion.
Spoon into warm bowls and scatter generously with grated parmesan.