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olive & thyme tomato confit on polenta


An easy, quick dish to savor sweet summer tomatoes.

This is one of those non-recipe recipes that feels almost embarrassing to share on a food blog. This tomato confit requires so little effort or kitchen time but packs a ton of flavor. It came about because I am absolutely drowning in tomatoes from the garden.

The tomato I have the most of, and that I used for this recipe is a midnight snack cherry tomato. It’s easy to grow and provides SO many tomatoes. This is just one day’s veggie haul from this summer!

You could use almost any small cherry or grape tomato for this recipe so feel free to customize based on what you have handy – as always feel free to riff! I also used a store-bought mix of Italian olives which was perfect for this recipe.

I love it when a simple dish with just a few ingredients turns out to be so stinkin’ delicious. This is definitely one of those plates friends. I hope you love it as much as we did!

Other ways to use tomato confit

While I used this deliciousness to top some creamy polenta there are so many uses for this confit. It’s fabulous on toasty bread or garlic bread as an appetizer and would also make a great addition to an Italian salad or sandwich.

I also thought, what the heck, can you eat olives for breakfast with a fried egg? The answer is yes, yes you can. I am a salty for breakfast type lady, so it may not be for everyone, but I was all for it!

I’d love to hear other ways you are all using up your garden tomatoes – please let me know in the comments or shoot me a link! Cheers!


Olive & Thyme Tomato Confit Over Polenta

A bold-flavored dish that is hearty enough to be a main, but perfect along side a lovely steak or piece of fish.
Course Dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Dinner Recipe, Polenta Recipe,, Summer Side Dish, Tomato Confit, Vegetarian Side Dish
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6


  • 5 Cups Water
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Polenta
  • 4 Tbs Butter
  • 2/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes
  • 3/4 Cup Sliced Mixed Olives
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • Salt + Pepper to Taste


  • Bring the water to a boil, add the salt and then slowly whisk in the polenta.
  • Turn the heat to low and cook for 30-40 minutes, whisking consistently throughout.
  • While the polenta is cooking, get a sauce pan over medium-low heat and then add the olive oil, tomatoes, olives, garlic, thyme – keeping the thyme on the sprig and the garlic whole, as you will remove them before serving.
  • Cook the tomato confit just until the tomatoes start to soften or until the first few get a little burst-y. This only took me about 10 minutes but will depend on the size of the tomatoes and the heat.
  • Once the tomatoes are cooked, spoon the confit into a bowl being sure to grab the flavorful olive oil with the tomatoes and olives.
  • Remove the thyme sprigs and the whole garlic cloves (you can easily keep the cloves to use later) and set aside until the polenta is finished cooking.
  • When the polenta is thickened but still creamy, add the butter and whisk. Taste and add more butter or salt as needed, but keep in mind the olives will add more saltiness.
  • Spoon the polenta into a large shallow bowl and top generously with the tomato & olive confit.
  • Voila! Serve as a main or with a lovely piece of fish, steak or chicken.
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