Confit is a French term for something cooked in fat – the most well known being duck confit, which is duck legs cooked in duck fat. But I’m thinking that the term is used a little more loosely these days, because I’m starting to see more vegetable confits.
One vegetable confit I’ve made is with piquillo peppers, based on a Spanish recipe, so I’m using that as inspiration today to make a red pepper confit with over-the-counter roasted red bell peppers. Piquillo peppers are fabulous, but honestly, I’m not sure I could tell the difference between roasted piquillos and roasted red bell peppers in a blind taste test.
For this confit, I’m not using duck fat, but olive oil. It’s a good way a have a vegetarian option for anyone stopping by around New Year’s. This confit is an easy recipe, and it stores for quite a while in the refrigerator, assuming there’s any left over. So here’s my recipe, and I must say, it’s pretty darn good and addicting!
Confit of Red Bell Peppers
2 – 16 ounce jars roasted red bell peppers, whole or in pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Few grindings black pepper
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Drain the roasted red bell peppers well in a colander, then lay them on paper towels and blot them dry.
Place the peppers in a jar of a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the salt, and blend, but not until it’s smooth – we’re not making baby food. It shouldn’t be chunky, but there should be some texture to the mixture.
This recipe makes about 6 cups of confit, so choose what size baking dishes to use. I used two smaller heat-proof dishes so I could freeze one while serving the confit in the other. (But I’d personally use only one dish fairly shallow dish if I was expecting extra folks over.)
Place the baking dishes on a jelly-roll baking pan. Pour the red bell pepper mixture into your baking dishes. Divide the sliced garlic between the dishes, and top with a few grindings of black pepper. Then carefully pour olive oil onto the red bell pepper mixture until it covers it by at least 1/4 inch.
Cover the dishes tightly with foil. Place in the oven and cook for exactly one hour. Turn off the oven and remove the foil, but leave the baking dishes in the oven to cool slightly, for about 30 minutes. Then remove them from the oven to continue cooling.
If you’re having the confit right away, serve warm, with a little serving spoon. If not, let it completely cool, cover again with foil, and refrigerate.
Serve the confit with hearty seedy crackers, pita breads, or crostini, as part of an hors d’oeuvres platter. I served mine as is, but it’s also fabulous paired with cheese – especially a creamy goat cheese.
The confit would also be fabulous in a panini, or processed with white beans for a roasted red bell pepper-flavored white bean dip. So many options!
note: I sprinkled the crostini in the photos with chopped fresh rosemary and it was really good. Next time I might stick a fresh rosemary sprig in with the baking confit…