July is upon us and with it brings a vast array of summer produce. Specifically tomatoes. While they don’t really hit their summer peak till August, they are in delightful abundance right now. And tasty too. This years crop is proving to be abundantly more flavorful than last years. When a cherry tomato tastes like the tomatoes my Great Grandfather used to grow, I know it is a good year.
The question then becomes, what to do with them? A friend recently sent me an email asking for recipe ideas for the buckets of tomatoes her garden is producing. I wish I had her problem ;). So it got me thinking… salsa, salads, fried/baked, stuffed, soups both hot and cold, sauces and their numerous uses, and on and on. This list barely scratches the surface.
One of my more recent discoveries has been to use cherry tomatoes as a chunky vinaigrette topping. And I say topping because when I think of vinaigrette I think of a salad dressing, smooth and liquidity. This however has chunks of tomatoes cooked down with a bit of onion and olive oil and then sauced with more olive oil and red wine vinegar. I love love love serving this over grilled pork chops or chicken. It brightens and compliments the meat in a way that will make your taste buds dance. This isn’t a dish to skimp on when serving either, but if by chance there are any leftovers, it pairs well with scrambled eggs.
Chunky Tomato Vinaigrette
Adapated from: Bon Appetit
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp onion, minced
- 1 pint (or about 30) cherry/grape tomatoes, halved
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Salt & pepper
- 2 tbsp chives (optional)
Heat olive oil in a small frying pan over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes stirring often. Note: the goal here is to soften the onion, not brown it. Add in the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once the tomatoes have softened and released their juices, remove from heat and mash a few of them. Add in the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with chives, if desired.
Makes: 2 generous servings