I saw someone doing marinated tomatoes on tv not so long ago and for the life of me, I can’t remember who it was. I can’t even remember on which channel it was which makes me feel horrible as I can’t give credit where credit is due. I am however very thankful to that person for exposing me to the wonder that is a marinated tomato.
I know the thought of blanching then peeling and then marinating cherry tomatoes is not appealing. I thought I had gone crazy when I found myself even considering the idea of trying it myself. You see, I’m a very lazy person. I love to eat and I love to cook but doing very finicky things in the kitchen is not for me. I like robust, unpretentious and delicious food. Food that takes me little time to prepare but still delivers big on flavour and character. Peeling a cherry tomato seems like the exact opposite of all of those things. Definitely not robust and quite pretentious if you ask me. I mean, I don’t even remove the seeds from my tomatoes. (what did the poor seeds do anyway? They hold all the flavour in my opinion!)
But then I found myself yesterday afternoon, in my kitchen, carefully scoring cherry tomatoes before dropping them into a pot of boiling water, fishing them out and dunking them into a bowl filled with ice water before carefully peeling their skins off. And I loved every second. It wasn’t hard, it wasn’t finicky and it wasn’t pretentious. It made perfect sense. How would the delicious marinade penitrate the delicate tomato flesh if I didn’t remove the tough skin? And how would said tough skin taste on a deliciously toasted slice of sourdough bread with the most mouth-watering whipped and herbed ricotta? Not great, that’s what!
The end result was exquisite (and I don’t use that word often). The flavours were perfect and even better, the textures were perfect. I’m a big ‘texture girl’. I like crunch mixed with soft and smooth and this was exactly what I got. I mean, I’m literally gushing over this ‘dish’. This very simple, very straight forward glorified version of cheese and tomato on toast. But it deserves it. Just try it, even just once. And then you can tell all your friends about the day you peeled a cherry tomato and how you would gladly do it all again!
Serves 2 as a generous lunch
250g cherry tomatoes
for the marinade
50ml olive oil
juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tbsp)
1 bay leaf, torn up
1 red chilli, roughly chopped (optional)
1 garlic clove, sliced
generous pinch of salt (I used Maldon)
generous grind of black pepper
for the whipped herbed-ricotta
2 tbsp (30ml) cream
3 tbsp mixed herbs, finely chopped (I used parsley, mint, sage and thyme)
salt to taste
grilled/toasted sourdough bread
- To blanch the cherry tomatoes, score the bottom of each with a sharp knife. Take care not to cut to deep as you don’t want to expose the seeds.
- Drop the tomatoes into a pot of boiling water and allow to boil for 30 seconds before lifting them out and placing them into a bowl filled with ice water.
- The skins will immediately start to loosen by themselves. Carefully peel the skin off (and discard) and place the tomatoes in a bowl.
- In a small bowl, measuring jug, mix together all the marinade ingredients. Pour over the cherry tomatoes and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes. At this stage you can also place the tomatoes in a sterilised jar and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- To make the whipped herbed-ricotta, place all the ingredients in a bowl and beat with a whisk/electric mixer until well combined and airy.
- To serve, spread the whipped herbed-ricotta onto the grilled/toasted sourdough and top with a few of the marinated cherry tomatoes.
- Serve immediately.