These have to be made with whole tiny tomatoes. In just one bite, you want to be able to savour a burst of delicately flavoured tomato in your mouth.

If you are not averse to a little peeling which I find rather satisfying, making this tomato salad is easy. An uncomplicated vinaigrette is essential as it should accentuate and not mask the fresh taste of tomatoes. So rather than using all extra virgin olive oil, replace half of it with a neutral tasting oil. Finally, the tomatoes must be served very cold.

Cold Marinated Tomatoes

Prep: ~20 minutes
Cook: Quick blanch
Inactive: ~6 hours to overnight
Level: Easy
Serves: 3 to 4 as a salad
Oven Temperature:
Can recipe be doubled? Yes
Make ahead? Overnight

Ingredients

1.43lb (650g) grape tomatoes

Marinade
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons neutral tasting oil
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar/apple cider vinegar*
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Optional
Sprinkling of thinly sliced sweet basil leaves or fresh oregano
* Do not use balsamic vinegar as its intense flavour will drown the taste of the tomatoes. Choose a light coloured, good quality vinegar so that the tomatoes keep its colour..

Method

Prep tomatoes
1. Score a little “X” on the base of each tomato.
2. Boil a pot of water. Working in batches. Drop scored tomatoes into the boiling water for 10-15 seconds and remove with a slotted spoon. Drain in a colander.
3. Move on to the next batch until all the tomatoes had their hot bath. Do not keep them under boiling water for any longer than 15 seconds or the tomatoes will start to cook and soften.
4. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to remove the peel of the tomato. Start with the scored end of the tomato and peel downward. Discard the peels.


Make the marinade

1. In the bowl where you will be marinating the tomatoes, mix all the marinating ingredients together and whisk well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. It should be slightly sweeter and saltier than you would like it. Do not overdose on the dried oregano, extra virgin olive oil and vinegar as these should act as a subtle underlying flavour.

Putting salad together
1. Gently add the tomatoes and stir in the marinade. Do not over mix. 4 or 5 gently turn with a wide face spoon should be sufficient.
2. Cover and let it chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours and up to overnight. Any longer and I find that the flavour of the tomatoes get lost.
3. Before serving, taste to adjust seasoning. If you wish, sprinkle some freshly sliced sweet basil or oregano. Do not add fresh herbs any sooner as the flavour will overpower the tomatoes. Serve with some crusty country loaf.

Tips

Great ways to eat cold marinated tomatoes
(1) It’s always good to serve this at a dinner party on a huge platter with some fresh buffalo mozzarella.
(2) In addition to the fresh mozzarella, drape over some strips of salty, thinly sliced prosciutto.

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