From time to time you hear those throw away lines, on the bus or the tube. ” I told him that if he wanted to do that, he’d have to go somewhere else!” Or “She said they were getting married to have children, but I know he doesn’t want any.” Do you ever wonder what happened next, or is it just me whose nosy? You can pass quite a long journey contemplating those outcomes.
Similarly I was listening to a food programme where they kept talking about Confit. Not duck or goose but all sorts of produce. A throw away, “Then I put confit spring onions on it.” made me wonder about those neglected vegetables that would benefit from that languorous olive oil soaking. I began working my way through the fridge to see what can or can’t be slavered in the deep warmed evo.
Potatoes are a confit classic as are onions. Carrots were a new one to me, but utterly delicious slow cooked with thyme and a few shallots. Parsnips can be similarly cooked, cut in half and the woody section removed first. But if its that tongue tingling sweetness you’re looking for, then tomatoes and spring onions are the best. Also, they make wonderful bruschetta – a simple supper, dinner starter or pre-drinks canape.
- Tomatoes, you decide how many, cut in half if very small or quarters if a little bigger
- Three or four sprigs of fresh thyme, more if you’re using a lot of tomatoes
- two cloves of garlic crushed with a knife, no need to peel
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
- Pre heat the oven 50c
- Place cut tomatoes on a foil covered tray with the sprigs of fresh thyme, sprinkle with the olive oil and sea salt and place in the oven for 6 to 8 hours.
- The tomatoes should look shriveled and not blackened, if they start to colour turn the temperature down further
- Remove from oven and either eat warm or cold, they can be pureed and used as a sauce or part of a sauce
- 3 bunches of spring onions
- 1 whole bulb of garlic
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 500 mls extra virgin olive oil
- Clean and cut off the roots and dark green parts of the spring onions
- Cut the garlic in half across the middle
- Place the spring onions, garlic and thyme in a pan with enough room for the spring onions to lie flat
- Cover with extra virgin olive oil and place over a very low heat
- Cover with a circle of baking paper (cartouche) to ensure that the spring onions remain covered with the oil
- Cook for one hour or until the onions are soft when tested
- Remove from the olive oil and keep in an airtight container covered with the oil
- Any remaining oil can be reused, it has a sweet onion flavour – great for salad dressing