Ripe, juicy tomatoes soak up olive oil, red wine vinegar, onion, garlic, & fresh herbs in Marinated Tomatoes, a zesty summer salad or a versatile side dish!
'Tis the season for homegrown tomatoes! Thanks to my father-in-law's bountiful garden, by this time every summer, we're positively swimming in big, juicy, deep red specimens of tomato perfection.
We eat 'em sliced, with salt and pepper. On bread with good mayo for a tomato sandwich. Caprese-style...drizzled with balsamic, layered with fresh mozzarella, and sprinkled with basil. Roasted. In gazpacho. On pizza. In marinara. In salads. But there can never be too many ways to enjoy garden fresh tomatoes, so why not add another recipe to the ol' repertoire?
Marinated Tomatoes are effortless to throw together with a handful of simple ingredients. What I love most about this recipe, though, is that not only does the pure, tomato flavor shine through, but it's actually enhanced by the vinegar, aromatics, and herbs.
Another nice thing about this dish is that it's totally customizable. I happen to have lots of giant, beefsteak-sized tomatoes right now, so I cut them into thick slices, lay them in a shallow dish, and pour the marinade over the top. The large surface area of the slices allows them to really soak up the deliciousness. If your tomatoes are smaller, however, you could choose to cut them into wedges. Tiny little cherry or grape tomatoes could be halved.
I recommend red wine vinegar for this recipe...it's zippy without being overpowering. However you could also experiment with white wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, champagne vinegar, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar...each one will add a different flavor profile to the dish.
How long you choose to marinate the tomatoes is up to you. My preference is to marinate them in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours for lotsa' flavor, then bring them back to room temperature before serving. Alternatively, if you have less time, you can marinate them on the countertop for just two or three hours. The infusion of flavor into the tomatoes will be less intense, but they'll still be delicious.
You can also customize the herbs for your Marinated Tomatoes. I highly recommend finely minced fresh herbs if you've got access to them -- I typically use parsley and basil. But you can also use dried herbs. Just remember that since dried herbs are stronger and more concentrated, you'll only need about 1/3 the amount as compared to fresh herbs.
I'm a garlic gal, but I don't go overboard with this recipe. One large or two small cloves are plenty. I prefer to crush my garlic in a garlic press or very, very finely mince it.
My family likes onion (and I don't), but I'm happy to make a separate batch of Marinated Tomatoes for them, throwing in a couple tablespoons of finely minced red onion. They report the red onion adds a sweet sharpness to the dish. I'll take their word for it. 😉
These Marinated Tomatoes are scrumptious on their own as a salad. Be sure to serve with crusty French bread to sop up all those magical juices! Or you can chop the tomatoes into smaller pieces and use as a topping for bruschetta. A few shavings of fresh Parmesan on top = HEAVEN.
Even if you don't have a garden, the tomatoes at the grocery store are much redder and more flavorful this time of year. So take advantage of the bounty! Marinated Tomatoes is an easy, versatile recipe for enjoying one of summer's simple pleasures.♥
More Garden-Fresh Summer Sides
- Corn, Tomato, & Avocado Salad
- Creamy German Cucumber Salad
- Baked Parmesan Zucchini Rounds
- Southern Squash Casserole
- 3 extra-large tomatoes, about 2 pounds
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- 1 large clove, or two small cloves garlic, finely minced or crushed
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley, plus additional for garnish
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil, plus additional for garnish
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cut the tomatoes into 1/2-inch thick slices and arrange in a single layer in a large, shallow dish. Measure the oil, vinegar, onion, garlic, parsley, basil, salt, and pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously to combine and evenly pour over the tomatoes in the dish. Cover and marinate for 2 to 3 hours on the counter, or 12 to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Bring chilled tomatoes to room temperature before serving. Transfer tomatoes to serving dishes, spoon juices over the tops, and garnish with additional chopped fresh herbs, if desired.
Adapted from Epicurious.