Preserved Tomatoes in Olive Oil

Preserved Tomatoes in Olive Oil

The Spruce / Ana Zelic

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 5 hrs
Total: 5 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 18 servings
Yield: 1 pan
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
223 Calories
24g Fat
2g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18
Amount per serving
Calories 223
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 36mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 9mg 43%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 150mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Tomatoes are best in the summer—bright red, juicy, and full of flavor. Unfortunately, when the colder months arrive, many of the tomatoes at the market are pink, dry, and bland. Luckily, there is a way to enjoy the tomato's sweetness throughout the winter by preserving them in olive oil. Storing tomatoes in olive oil is much easier and faster than sun-drying them. And although dried tomatoes' flavor is enhanced, they are not ideal to use in recipes that require additional cooking. Preserved tomatoes in olive oil can be added to sauces, stews, and recipes calling for canned tomatoes; they are also delicious served as a topping over grilled fish or chicken, and as an appetizer with burrata and crostini.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, washed and dried

  • Sea salt, to taste

  • 6 sprigs rosemary, optional

  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, optional

  • 6 sprigs fresh oregano, optional

  • 8 cloves garlic, optional

  • 2 cups olive oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Preserved Tomatoes in Olive Oil ingredients

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  2. Preheat the oven to 175 F/80 C. Remove the stems of the tomatoes and cut the tomatoes in half.

    Remove the stems of the tomatoes and cut the tomatoes in half

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  3. In a deep ceramic or glass baking dish, place the tomatoes side by side, cut-side-up. They should fit together snugly but not overlap.

    tomatoes in a baking dish

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  4. Sprinkle the tomatoes with sea salt. If using, add the herbs of your choice and the crushed garlic.

    tomatoes with salt, herbs and garlic in a baking dish

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  5. Add the olive oil. The oil should cover about 2/3 of the depth of the tomatoes. Depending on your ceramic dish, you might not need the whole 2 cups or you might need a little more.

    oil added to the tomatoes, herbs and garlic

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  6. Place the dish in the oven and slow cook the tomatoes for 3 to 5 hours, until they have shrunk and are blistered. The exact time will depend on the size of the tomatoes you use.

    baked tomatoes in the oil and herb mixture

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

  7. Allow to cool completely. Transfer the tomatoes and the oil to glass jars or other airtight, well-sealed, nonmetal containers. 

    Preserved Tomatoes in Olive Oil in a jar

    The Spruce / Ana Zelic

Tips

  • If you don't have a suitable ceramic or glass dish at hand, use a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. You'll need about 3 tablespoons of olive oil for every 2 large tomatoes you prepare. Take care that the oil covers all their surfaces, then bake as you would if you had used a dish. 
  • You can use zip-lock freezer bags instead of containers for storage. Force out all the excess air before sealing them. You can also vacuum-seal the tomatoes if you have the proper equipment. If you seal them in a container with as little air as possible, they'll keep for up to a year in the pantry and up to 18 months if you freeze or refrigerate them. 
  • If it's not your goal to save your tomatoes for months until the next harvest, you can skip the baking and simply infuse the tomatoes in the oil. If you forego the garlic, salt, and herbs, the tomatoes will last in your fridge for a few weeks. If you do add the garlic and herbs, use the tomatoes within a week.