By marinating canned cherry tomatoes in olive oil, you can add some richness and flavor without any cooking (which would risk breaking down the fruit’s fresh flavor and structure). You can serve the finished product as an antipasto, by spooning a few into a small bowl and topping them with a bit of the olive oil and some additional salt. Or, try these smashed onto a sandwich or sprinkled across the surface of a big, bubbly focaccia.
- In a 16-ounce heatproof jar or medium bowl, add the cherry tomatoes and set it by the stove.
- In a medium pot over medium-low heat, add the olive oil, garlic slices, fennel, chile flakes, and orange peel, and heat until the oil is hot and just beginning to sizzle. Turn the heat off, cool slightly, then carefully pour the oil and spice mixture over the tomatoes to cover, then set aside to cool to room temperature. Once cool, cover with a tight-fitting lid, turn the jar over and upright gently a few times to distribute the seasonings, then refrigerate at least 24 hours before using. Store for up to 1 month in the fridge (or 6 months in the freezer). Bring to room temperature before using.
- Serve the tomatoes sprinkled with flaky sea salt and drizzled with some of their marinade, as a topping for bruschetta or pizza, or crushed lightly and used as a condiment for sandwiches.
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