I love the way slow roasting brings out the essence of summer tomatoes. If raw cherry tomatoes enjoyed soon after picking taste like the early morning sunshine, bright and cheery, slow roasted cherry tomatoes are like a brilliant summer sunset, complex, lingering and multi-hued. I was hoping the same would be true for zucchinis. Turns out it is true; this confit captures the essence of summer's sweet bounty. I am not sure I will ever be able to eat them any other way. You will see what I mean. This confit is extremely versatile – delicious on its own (by the spoonful, in my case), spread atop toasted baguette à la bruschetta, or with some freshly grated parmesan or feta to transform weeknight pasta into something special. —gingerroot
a little more than one cup
small firm zucchini, scrubbed
mixed yellow and orange cherry tomatoes, halved
cloves garlic, minced
extra-virgin olive oil
anchovy fillets, packed in oil
scant 1 tablespoons
red wine vinegar
10 inch square piece of parchment paper (approx.)
Prepare a baking sheet by placing parchment paper in center, and folding up the edges on each side of the square (about a ¼- ½ inch), pinching the corners, to create a slight rim (to catch all the sweet, roasting juices).
Place zucchinis in the middle of parchment paper. With a sharp knife, make small slits down the top of each one. Arrange cherry tomato halves around zucchinis.
Sprinkle minced garlic on each zucchini and distribute the remaining garlic evenly on top of tomatoes. Season vegetables with a pinch or two of sea salt and drizzle with the olive oil (making sure to cover the zucchinis).
Nestle anchovies among the tomatoes. Place rosemary sprig between zucchinis. Roast for about an hour, until zucchinis are soft when tested with a fork.
Remove baking sheet from oven and let cool for a few minutes (I could not wait and cut right into them, which is okay, just be careful not to burn your hand). Discard Rosemary sprig.
(From this point on, leave vegetables in parchment paper. This way all the caramelized juices from the tomatoes and zucchinis will be added to the confit). Carefully trim stem end of zucchini and discard. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise and either scoop out flesh with a spoon or cut in half again and then chop, placing into a bowl. (I did a mixture of both – some zucchinis were softer than others so I scooped out the flesh from those and then chopped the skin, others that were not as soft I quartered lengthwise and did a rough chop).
Add roasted tomato halves, garlic bits, caramelized juices, remaining olive oil and anchovy (by now melted into salty deliciousness), using parchment paper to help funnel every drop into bowl with zucchinis.
Stir to combine and season with sea salt to taste (if needed).
Add a splash (I probably added a tablespoon) of red wine vinegar (the best you have – I used 18-year-old red wine vinegar I bought in Napa – delish!).
Transfer to a glass jar with airtight lid. If you are not going to use within a day or two, make sure to top with olive oil to keep longer. Confit should last about a week.
My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love.
Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.