Friday, June 22, 2012

Marninated, Whole Tomatoes

In some parts of the country, decent tomatoes are already appearing at markets. This recipe works wonderfully with medium-sized tomatoes. In the dead of winter when delicious tomatoes are a rarity, seek the ones still attached to a stem or use plum tomatoes. I place one marinated tomato on a bed of greens that always includes crunchy, cold, iceberg lettuce. I drizzle the marinade around it.

I like this recipe because it uses ingredients I usually have on hand. It is adapted from my grandmother's old cookbook. Go ahead and use yellow tomatoes for a bit of visual variety. One could, of course, include basil rather-than, or in-addition-to, the parsley. Sometimes I cheat and simply cut up the peeled tomatoes and just mix everything together and allow it to marinate overnight. But I really love the drama of a single tomato on fresh greens.

  • 6 whole ripened medium tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup salad oil
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (light or EV)
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onion and tops
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme flakes
  • Blue cheese, crumbled (optional)

Peel tomatoes (drop into boiling water for a few seconds. Remove and then peel). With  a paring knife, remove just the top green stem part being careful not to cut into the core of the tomato. This is optional, but I like to do it. Peeling and coring allows the marinade to penetrate the tomato.

Mix the remaining ingredients. Marinate the whole tomatoes in a refrigerator several hours or overnight (preferably overnight) in a deep, narrow bowl. If the oil congeals before serving, just bring back to room temperature before serving. To serve, arrange tomatoes on a platter and spoon a small amount of the marinade over each tomato. Sprinkle with additional green onions and parsley or serve individually over a bed of lettuce and use marinade as the dressing. For additional garnish (and recommended) add a few crumbles of blue cheese.