Thursday, May 29, 2008

Grilled Cherry Tomato Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette

I've been yearning for fat summer tomatoes. Spring is too early for big, red, juicy ones, but when I have a craving, I can't be deterred. To satisfy my untimely yen, I turned to diminutive tomatoes, like cherry, grape, or strawberry. They sound more like pretty Popsicles than vegetables. Or are tomatoes fruit? No matter. While these little babies have greater fresh tomato flavor than prematurely picked biggies, their flavor is even more pronounced with a quick surge of high heat.

This weekend, I skewered some less than perfect cherry and strawberry tomatoes, brushed them with a light coating of olive oil and tossed them on the grill. In five minutes, they were caramelized and fragrant. I plucked a few off the skewer, succulent and sweet. Their warm juices inspired me to cobble together a quick Italian vinaigrette, starring a sprig of rosemary stolen (by my two charges/accomplices) from my neighbor's thriving bush. I'm praying that the gardener doesn't use pesticides and also for forgiveness. Between the beautiful spring weather and the charred warm tomatoes, who needs summer? Long live spring.

Grilled Cherry Tomato Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette
Estimated Cost $3.50
Notes: The broiler works well if you don't have skewers or a grill. See directions below.
1 pint small tomatoes, such as cherry
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a bit more for brushing
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese, or crumbled feta
Thread tomatoes on skewers. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Grill just until softened and browned in places, turning often for about five minutes. (If using broiler, line a cookie sheet with foil. Toss tomatoes with a teaspoon of olive oil and broil for about five minutes, six inches from heat, watching closely.) Meanwhile, combine remaining tablespoon olive oil, red wine vinegar, and rosemary in medium bowl. Gently stir in warm tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, sprinkle with cheese, and garnish with rosemary.
Coming Tomorrow: Warmed Garlic and Cherry Tomato Bruschetta


RecipeGirl said...

I love the tomato recipes in the summer. I haven't had much luck with grilling cherry tomatoes- usually they end up a bit mushy for my taste, but I do love them roasted or lightly sauteed. Perhaps I'll have to give grilling another shot.

Jim Thomas said...

I love a good tomato sandwich. I bet this would be awesome on some crusty bread!

Anonymous said...

Some recipes let you substitute ingredients. I am allergic to tomatoes, but not cherries. Can I substitute cherries for the tomatoes?

Hives in Houston.

Anonymous said...

These were so delicious last weekend! I'm so happy to have the recipe and I can't wait for tommorow's bruschetta!

Prudy said...

Recipe Girl:
Try it again, by all means. Those mushy juices make a great vinaigrette!
Jim: I can't wait for a great tomato sandwich. Crunchy bread would up the yum factor for sure.
Life is not a bowl of cherries, but in this case you are welcome to give it a try. Let me know what you find out.
Thanks. I loved them, too.

Karen said...

Hi Miss's so nice to see you up and blogging! I had no idea.
Your logo design is very fun.

This tomato salad is just what I love to eat...I might just have to put the recipe on the menu for dinner tomorrow. Cheers!