Give Confit Cherry Tomatoes A Hint Of Sweet Heat With Aleppo Pepper

Though they're already quite sweet, cherry tomatoes take on a richer taste under the heat of the oven. When roasted, the flavors concentrate, creating delicious tomato confit that can be spooned over pasta, meat, salads, and more. To amp up the sweetness of cherry tomato confit, add Aleppo pepper.

Originally from Syria, Aleppo peppers are derived from Halaby chile peppers that have been dried and ground. While chile peppers conjure up thoughts of extreme heat, Aleppo peppers produce more of a slow, steady fire. Grounded by a deep, earthy flavor that's soon quelled with a fruity, citrus aftertaste, Aleppo peppers have a unique flavor. When sprinkled onto cherry tomatoes, they won't overwhelm them; instead, they cut through the richness of the concentrated tomato flavor, bringing a sweet zest and a gentle kick of heat.

In her simple flavor-packed tomato confit, Tasting Table recipe developer Michelle McGlinn opts to add the Aleppo pepper to the tomatoes right before roasting, allowing the spice to penetrate into the fruits as they cook. If you forget to add it before cooking, sprinkle the Aleppo pepper into the container you're storing the tomato confit or simply add it right before eating. The spicy tomato confit makes an excellent snack along with crackers with soft cheeses like feta or mozzarella or a hearty addition to eggs on toast. Dried Aleppo pepper is the most common form, but you can also purchase Aleppo hot sauce to drizzle on top before enjoying your tomato confit.

How to serve spicy cherry tomato confit

Cherry tomato confit will always be a welcome addition to classic bruschetta. The rich cherry tomatoes and spicy, sweet Aleppo pepper are all that's needed for the toasted piece of bread. Still, a mild, tangy cheese will elevate this appetizer even further. Add goat cheese or crumbled feta on top to give the bruschetta a salty spin. In lieu of balsamic vinegar or olive oil on top, drizzle tahini to bring out the earthiness of the Aleppo pepper.

For the main course, the cherry tomato confit can be used in place of sauce on pizza. Whip up some Neapolitan pizza dough and spoon the spicy confit on top. To deepen the flavor, roast garlic and spread it onto the dough before adding the cherry tomato confit. For the cheese, add thick slabs of mozzarella to gently melt into the tomatoes or place burrata in the center of the pizza.

If you prefer something with more variety, let the tomato confit be the cherry on top of your salads and grain bowls. The rich tomatoes, spicy Aleppo pepper, and flavored olive oil bring a blast of juicy flavor to any dish. You could also spoon it on top of a roasted eggplant and lentil salad for a hearty Mediterranean feast or add the confit to a Middle Eastern-spiced beef shawarma bowl.