Over the last two years, Jack and I have found that cherry tomatoes are surprisingly easy to grow. We haven’t had success with everything we’ve tried raising (this year mint has been especially tricky), but our cherry tomato plants are going pretty well. We started them from transplants, and now they’re thriving in big pots ringed in by tomato cages. As each plant grows, it produces bright yellow, bite-sized summer treats (see our little homegrown yellow variety of cherry tomatoes in this post)!
As summer winds down, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’ll miss our little back deck garden. Of course, I’ll enjoy fall and all the apple-y, pumpkin-y goodness that comes with it, but I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to warm weather, peaches, corn, and, of course, cherry tomatoes.
Making Blistered Cherry Tomatoes
While I love my slow roasted tomatoes, this recipe is kind of the opposite – the cherry tomatoes roast fast(!), which means that you can put together this simple appetizer in no time. It’s closely based on the charred cherry tomato recipe from the book Ottolenghi Simple, a book I’ve enjoyed all summer long for quick & easy recipes that use minimal ingredients.
This recipe is really easy to make; just toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil, thyme, garlic, lemon zest, cumin seeds, and honey. Then, roast them for about 20 minutes, turning on the broiler right at the end so that they get a little char. Like I do with my grilled zucchini, I serve the bursting, hot tomatoes over a bed of lemony yogurt, with lots of crusty bread for dipping. This recipe is simple, but it packs a punch of summer flavor. It’d be a great choice for Labor Day gatherings or any cookout you have coming up before the end of summer.
Blistered Cherry Tomatoes Variations
This cherry tomato recipe is delicious as-is, but if you want to change it up, here are a few easy variations:
- Make it vegan. Serve the tomatoes over a bed of hummus instead of yogurt and use maple syrup in place of the honey. A few roasted chickpeas would be a great crunchy addition to this variation!
- Try grape tomatoes. If you have grape tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes on hand, go ahead and use them! Just keep an eye on them in the oven; their cooking time may be shorter because they’re smaller.
- Use Caprese flavors. Nix the cumin seeds and honey, and top the cherry tomatoes and yogurt with a generous handful of fresh basil leaves, a drizzle of pesto, and/or reduced balsamic vinegar.
- Make it a meal. Skip the yogurt, and toss the blistered tomatoes into pesto pasta or pasta pomodoro. Or, use them in place of the roasted tomatoes in this linguine recipe!
Looking for more cherry tomato recipes?
Try my couscous salad, pasta salad, Caprese salad, vegan pizza, stuffed zucchini, or Greek salad next!
Charred Cherry Tomatoes
Author: Jeanine Donofrio
Recipe type: appetizer
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Heaping ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon honey or maple syrup
- Leaves of 5 thyme sprigs, more for garnish
- Zest of 1 lemon, divided
- 1 cup thick whole milk Greek yogurt
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh mint leaves
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, cumin, honey, thyme, half the lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon salt, and several grinds of freshly ground pepper. Pour into a small rimmed baking dish and roast for 18 minutes. Turn the oven to broil and broil for 2 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to char on top.
- In a small bowl, mix the yogurt with the remaining lemon zest and ¼ teaspoon salt.
- Spread the yogurt in a thin layer on a serving plate and top with the tomatoes. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and garnish with fresh thyme leaves and mint leaves. Season to taste and serve with crusty bread for dipping.