I saw some lovely looking cherry tomatoes in the greengrocers the other day and remembered that I had seen a recipe on Pinterest which I wanted to try out. I have hundreds of recipes that I want to try out so it was quite amazing that I remembered this one! I am embarrassed to say that it wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that I began to appreciate raw tomatoes. Until then I turned my nose up and refused to eat them. I know I drove my mum crazy as I picked them out of salads and made a fuss when I could see lumps of them in gravy. It wasn’t until I tried someone’s Insalata Tricolore in a really good Italian trattoria that the penny dropped and I realised what I had been missing. Now I can’t get enough of them and look forward to the summer’s crop of heirlooms, beef steaks, plums, cherries and canaries.
This is a lovely recipe which really brings out the best in sweet cherry tomatoes. The marinade takes on the flavours of the tomatoes, rosemary, chilli, garlic and lemon and is wonderful drizzled over fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese. They can marinate for as little as 20 minutes but I think that both the tomatoes and the marinade taste so much nicer a few days later. Serve as part of a mezze type meal, use to top open faced sandwiches and tartines, include in lunchbox salads – the possibilities are endless. Make sure to eat at room temperature and with lots of napkins to hand!
I know that peeling tomatoes and cherry tomatoes at that, is a chore and one that I skip if I can get away with it but in this case, it is absolutely necessary. It doesn’t take long and the flavour pay off is worth it. These juicy marinated cherry tomatoes are really easy to make:
First, get the kettle on to boil and fill a mixing bowl with ice cubes and water. Then using a very sharp knife, lightly score the tops the tomatoes – this helps get the skins off. Fill a pan with the kettle hot water and turn up the heat to keep it at a boil. Then, using a large slotted spoon, lower the tomatoes into the water and set a timer for 30 seconds. You should see the skins lifting away where they have been scored, almost immediately. Using the slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes and plunge into the ice bath to stop them from cooking. Pop the rosemary in to blanch and after 30 seconds, remove and put in the ice bath. Drain and pinch the skins off which will come away very easily. Layer the tomatoes with the garlic, bay leaves and rosemary in a sterilised/extremely well cleaned Le Parfait/Kilner/Mason/pickle or jam jar. Mix up the marinade ingredients in a measuring jug and pour over the tomatoes. If there isn’t enough to cover them, top up with more olive oil.
Juicy Marinated Cherry Tomatoes
Adapted from Marinated Cherry Tomatoes by Alida Ryder for Simply Delicious
- 30 cherry tomatoes (or fill your jar with tomatoes to see how many will fit comfortably)
- 2 stalks of rosemary
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 3 bay leaves, broken up
For the marinade
- 50 ml lemon juice (for me this was about the juice of a lemon and a half)
- 100 ml extra Virgin Olive oil
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
You will also need
- sterilised 500 ml Le Parfait/Kilner/Mason/pickle or jam jar
- Put the kettle on to boil and fill a bowl with ice and water. When the kettle boils pour the water into a saucepan and keep it boiling.
- Lightly score the tops of the tomatoes.
- Lower the tomatoes in for 30 secs then remove with a slotted spoon and place in the iced water. Drain and pinch off the skins which should slip off very easily.
- Blanch the rosemary while the tomatoes are cooling and plunge the stalks into the iced water as well.
- Layer the tomatoes in the sterilised jar with the rosemary, garlic and bay leaves.
- Measure the lemon juice and olive oil into a measuring jug then stir in the fennel seeds, chilli flakes and salt.
- Pour this over the cherry tomatoes. It should cover them, if not top up with some more olive oil.
- Leave at room temp for at least half an hour if you want to eat it later, otherwise place in the fridge. Let come to room temp before serving – the oil will solidify so give it a shake from time to time, when you remember.
Should keep for at least a week or two as long as your jar is clean and herbs blanched.
We had it on toasted pain de campagne with buffalo mozzarella, basil leaves, sliced avocado and a good drizzle of the flavoured oil.