Simple, Healthy, Delicious: Local Cherry Tomatoes
Small Cherry and grape tomatoes, those flavorful, bite-size treasures, come in a variety of colors and flavors. Besides adding an aesthetic component to dishes, these tiny toms’ can kick a dish up a notch with their complex, fresh flavor. Try these:
Nothing is easier than this dish, which is good, because your guests will gobble them up and you’ll have to make more!
- Cherry tomatoes, we recommend Sweet 100s or a mix of colors/varieties
- Fresh basil leaves, washed and patted dry
- Fresh mozzarella, we recommend Cantare’s Ciliegine
- Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil
- Sigona’s traditional aged balsamic vinegar
- Salt & pepper
What to do: Thread a sweet 100 cherry tomato onto a wooden skewer with a basil leaf and a piece of fresh mozzarella, drizzle with olive oil and aged balsamic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Expecting a hungry crowd? Don’t present skimpy skewers. Thread the skewers with 2-3 pieces of each ingredient.
Fresh Corn Salad with Black Beans, Tomato and Cilantro
See our recipe for Fresh Corn Salad with Black Beans, Tomato and Cilantro in our corn recipes post.
Fresh Tomato, Cucumber & Avocado Salad
This is tomato grower Jim Durst’s favorite go-to tomato recipe. “It’s my ‘fast food,’ I can have it ready in about 15 minutes.” It’s best served at room temperature to let the flavors come out.
Keep it simple: Toss together equal amounts of halved cherry tomatoes, cubed cucumber and diced avocado with a little aged balsamic and olive oil. Add diced red onions if desired.
Sungold Tomato Salsa Cruda with Orzo Pasta
The mix of fresh colors and flavors makes this salad a delight for the eyes and palate. Adapted from Cooking Light.
- 8 ounces uncooked orzo pasta
- 4 cups Sungold tomatoes, rinsed and halved (about 2 pounds)
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 TBL finely chopped fresh oregano
- 1 1/2 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil, such as Portuguese Arbequina or Australian Manzanillo
- 1 TBL white balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper, or to taste
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- 1. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, balsamic, oregano and garlic.
- In a large bowl, layer in the pasta, tomatoes, shallot and basil. Pour in the oil mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Top with cheese and serve chilled or at room temperature.
Carmelo’s Mini Charm Bruschetta
I love the complex flavor of Mini Charm tomatoes. All the layers of flavor in this dish, from olive oil to salt & pepper to tomatoes, along with the chewy texture of a grilled baguette really makes for killer bruschetta. The trick is not to toast your bread all the way through under a broiler. Also, don’t prep way ahead of time as that makes for soggy bread.
- 1 basket of Mini Charm cherry tomatoes
- Half of 1 Sweet baguette, cut on diagonal into 1 inch thick slices
- 3 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil, we recommend the Portuguese Arbequina
- 1 clove of garlic
- Sea salt & pepper
- 6 basil leaves, cut into strips with scissors
Start with the tomatoes: slice the tomatoes in half and place in a bowl. Toss with a little sea salt to draw out the juices and flavor. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in small sauté pan over medium heat, warm 1 clove of minced garlic just slightly. Do not allow it to brown. Simply warming it will take a little heat out of the garlic.
Remove garlic from heat and add to tomatoes with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Scoop into a serving bowl and garnish with scissor-sliced basil leaves. Set aside.
Prepare the bread: Preheat the flat side of a stovetop grill/griddle pan** to medium high heat. Brush both sides of the baguette slices with a little olive oil. Dust one side with salt and pepper.
Grill the baguette slices for about 30-45 seconds a side until lightly toasted and starting to brown. Remove from heat and place on a serving platter. If serving right away, top the toasted slices with the tomato mix or allow guests to top themselves.
**You can use a toaster if you don’t have a grill/griddle pan, but be sure to get a light toast. The best bruschetta is enjoyed on bread with a light outer toasting and a warmed, chewy middle. Find grill/griddle pans stores that sell specialty kitchen supplies, such as Crate & Barrel or Bed, Bath & Beyond.