In Season Now: Cherry and Grape Tomatoes

Ah, bite-sized tomatoes, fresh off the vine and warmed by the July sun. What’s not to love?

Here’s my favorite recipe for cherry and grape tomatoes: Tomato Salad with Soy Sauce. It’s fast, easy, and tastes like summer.

This recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything.

Cherry or Grape Tomato Salad with Soy Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce (I recommend wheat-free, reduced sodium tamari)
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of dark sesame oil
  • 4 cups of cherry and/or grape tomatoes, stems removed and halved crosswise (I like to use a mix of different colored cherry and grape tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup of whole basil leaves, preferably Thai basil
  • Freshly ground black pepper

1. Whisk the soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes and basil and sprinkle with pepper. Stir gently to coat the tomatoes with the dressing.

2. Let the salad stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes, stirring once or twice. (Letting the salad sit releases some of the juices from the tomatoes.) Taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary, and serve at room temperature.

Note: I don’t recommend making this salad more than 30 minutes ahead of serving. The refrigerator always seems to kill the flavor and texture of vine-ripened tomatoes. Plus the basil becomes wilted if it sits in the dressing for too long.

Reminder: Tomatoes are best stored unwashed and on the kitchen counter. If your tomatoes are under-ripe, store them in a paper bag at room temperature for a day or two.

Image courtesy of edgeplot via a Creative Commons license.

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About the Author

I'm an ecologist turned journalist turned farmer-in-training. I'm currently working on an organic farm and creamery in Illinois. Follow me on twitter (http://twitter.com/rachelshulman), friend me on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=3105709), or follow me on StumbleUpon (http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/RachelShulman/).