- 1 tbsp plus ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed but kept whole
- 1½ cups whole grain bread, crusts removed, cut into 1” cubes
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 6 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 2¼ cups English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1¼ cups diced red bell pepper
- ¾ cup diced green bell pepper
- 6 tbsp tomato juice
- 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1½ tsp salt
- Tabasco sauce
- Heat a small sauté pan over medium-high heat.
- Coat the bottom with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and add 1 clove of garlic.
- When the garlic begins to sizzle, add the bread cubes. Toss occasionally until the bread begins to color, being careful not to burn.
- Add the thyme and continue to toss until the bread is golden brown. Transfer the bread to a large bowl.
- Discard the garlic and thyme. Add the strawberries, cucumber, peppers, remaining garlic clove, remaining ½ cup of olive oil, tomato juice, vinegar, and salt to the bowl.
- Toss to combine and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Marinate at room temperature for 3-6 hours.
- Puree the ingredients and their juices in small batches, in a blender, on high speed until very smooth. Strain through a chinois and chill in the refrigerator until very cold.
- Taste and season, if necessary, with Tabasco sauce and additional salt and red wine vinegar.
- Heat a small sauté pan on medium-high heat.
- Coat the bottom with the olive oil and add the garlic.
- When the garlic begins to sizzle, add the diced bread. Toss occasionally until the bread begins to color, being careful not to burn.
- Add the thyme and continue to toss until the bread is golden brown.
- Quickly transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
- Discard the garlic and thyme and season with the salt. Once cool and dry, store in an airtight container lined with paper towels for up to 1 day.
- Preheat the oven to 195°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.
- Toss the halved strawberries in the olive oil to coat them lightly.
- Place them cut side down on the silicone mat and dust with the confectioners’ sugar.
- Bake for 1½ hours.
- Flip the strawberries and bake them for an additional 30 minutes. The strawberries should be deep maroon and tender but still hold their shape.
- Cool them on the silicone mat before storing in a flat, airtight container that has been coated with olive oil to keep them hydrated.
- The confit can be made 3 days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.