If you live in the low desert like us, it’s prime tomato-growing time which means lots of one of my favorite things: marinated tomatoes.
I’m a lifelong marinated tomato lover
It’s sort of funny how certain dishes stick out in our memory from childhood. My maternal grandma, my Nonna, was from Naples, Italy. Although she passed away while I was young, her marinated tomatoes will stay with me forever. Even at a young age, I would just about die over the smell of fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil.
Another thing that sticks out in my memory, is that my nonna had a basil plant in her backyard. She showed me how to pick the leaves off of it and I remember thinking it was the coolest thing ever.
The divine-smelling marinated tomato dish smelled wonderful and looked amazing on a piece of crusty bread. Even at a young age, I knew that this was a special dish, along with her homemade chicken noodle soup.
When I have an abundance of tomatoes, this is a simple dish I always fall back on.
Tomato plant trial and error
I must admit, I didn’t always appreciate a raw tomato until a few years ago. We successfully grew a ton of tomatoes in a raised garden bed and I fell in love with the tomato-growing experience. The smell alone changed my life.
We have been going through a few rounds of trial-and-error with tomato plants at the bungalow. We tried to plant some too early and those didn’t survive the cold nights. While on the other hand, a few transplanted seedlings have already shriveled up in the sun.
While grabbing a few more seedlings from Kelley Farm, (they have a stand set up at Singh Farms on the weekend) I learned that some tomato varieties are more sun- and heat-tolerant than others. So, we’re trying this whole tomato growing thing again.
Determined to figure out where they grow best, we now have tomato plants sprinkled throughout the yard and patios. Now that Spring is here, I have more hope they’ll do well.
How to make simply marinated tomatoes
I digress, back to this tasty little tomato dish. There’s really not a whole lot to it and you can try different variations. You need:
- Cherry tomatoes (or any size tomato cut to your preference)
- Olive Oil
- Balsamic (optional)
After washing and drying, I like to cut the cherry tomatoes in half, sometimes quarters depending on how big they are. Then, I give my herbs a chop and peel the garlic. You can add the garlic in any form, I like to add entire cloves to the dish.
Mix all your ingredients together in a bowl, cover it and let it sit for at least an hour. Give it a little longer if you put the dish in the fridge. You want to give the tomatoes time to soak up all the aromatic flavors. Adjust the flavors to your liking and just know that in my unpopular opinion, there can be such thing as too much garlic.
These are great to make just to have around. It’s an amazing addition to crackers, breads, salads, chicken and steak dishes, charcuterie boards, you name it….. so good. It pairs perfectly with just about any cheese too, but always and forever I will suggest burrata.
How do you enjoy your tomatoes? I hope to be able to report an abundance of tomatoes to you in a few months!