Mid July is about the time of year when tomatoes start coming full steam into season. I have five tomato plants in my garden that are now producing more tomatoes than we can think up ways of using them. (Gazpacho anyone?)
One quick and easy recipe that I played around with this week is to simply grill the tomatoes, cut side down, and season with olive oil, salt, pepper, and sliced basil. It's so good!
When you are working with garden-fresh tomatoes, sometimes doing less is more, because the produce is so good to begin with.
Do you have a garden that is full of tomatoes?
What are your ways of using up the bounty? Please let us know in the comments.
Can I Broil Tomatoes?
No grill? No problem. You can use your oven's broiler to put similar caramelization and char on tomatoes. First, heat the broiler to 500°F, with a rack about 3 inches from the heating element. Next, prepare your tomatoes the same way as you would for the grill, arranging them cut-side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until the tomatoes are lightly charred, about 10 minutes (be sure to check them often!).
The Best Tomatoes for Grilling
Choose tomatoes that are firm and ripe, but not too ripe or they'll fall apart when you grill them. We recommend Roma and beefsteak tomatoes for grilling.
Need More Tomato Ideas? Try These Recipes:
- Tomato Galette With Parmesan Whole Wheat Crust
- Tomato Ricotta Tart
- Tomato Pie
- Creamy Tomato and White Bean Soup
- Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil
An easy way to thinly slice basil leaves is to roll them up like a cigar and then slice it crosswise into thin ribbons.
- 2 firm, ripe tomatoes (not overly ripe or they will fall apart when you grill them), cut in half around the middle
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt (or fleur de sel if you can get it)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 basil leaves, thinly sliced
Seed the tomatoes:
Standing over a sink, use your fingers to gently dislodge and remove the watery pulp and seeds. (Although the seeds and pulp contain a lot of flavor, when you grill the tomatoes they are going to be lost anyway.)
Grill the tomatoes cut-side-down:
Preheat your grill on high heat for direct grilling. Use a grill basket or fine grill grate if you can, it will make it much easier to work with the tomatoes (or any other vegetables you grill).
Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper. Brush the cut side of the tomatoes with olive oil. Brush the grill grate or grill pan with olive oil.
Place the tomatoes, cut side down, on the grill surface. Cover the grill and let cook for about 4 minutes. (Check after 2 minutes.)
Use a metal spatula to lift tomatoes off of the grill for serving.
Place on a serving dish, cut side up. Drizzle a little more olive oil on the tomatoes. Sprinkle with just a little more salt and pepper. Sprinkle with thinly sliced basil.