Chunky Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette almost didn’t happen. At least, not with the sweetest, most fabulous, cherry tomatoes known to man (and me). I first came across the inspiration for this recipe in Bon Appetit a couple of years ago but decided to make it this summer after planting my first cherry tomato plants. The recipe is simple, so I wanted to use the best ingredients in order to get the ultimate result.
I was so excited when I came home with my tomato plants and took great care choosing the correct planters, dirt and nutrients. I researched tomato-plant care and implemented my findings. I talked to my plants every time I walked past them and hummed to them when they needed water.
Maybe I did have a green and not a khaki-brown thumb after all. My cherry tomato plants were thriving and were laden with tiny, green balls. I remember looking at them with a sense of pride from my kitchen and thinking how lush and lovely they were. That was the first week of July. The second week of July brought days of torrential rains, and by the end of the third week, my poor plants were suffering. Their leaves actually reflected how I felt – droopy, wan and down-in-the-dumps.
But, alas, things were not as they seemed. My tomatoes thrived in spite of the weakened state of the plants, and I was blessed with an abundance of healthy, sugary sweet, radiant, blue ribbon winning cherry tomatoes. The best cherry tomatoes – ever!
The above picture was taken last week – when the last of the orange orbs of harvest were clinging to life. I’m so proud of them. My husband asks me daily, “Can I get rid of the tomato plants today?” My resolve is steadfast, as I answer incredulously, “No, not until the last tomato ripens.” These plants have earned my respect.
Chunky Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette tastes amazing – fresh & naturally sweet with acidic overtones and infused with your favorite herb. It is superb served with Perfect Skinless Boneless Grilled Chicken Breasts, scrambled eggs or even with plain toast. It is a dish deserving of my homegrown little gems.
I should have used all these adjectives when naming Chunky Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette.
Chunky Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes if large, quarter and if on the small size, halve
- ½ shallot minced
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 tablespoon red wine or champagne vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives parsley or basil, chopped
- Place tomatoes in a shallow dish and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Allow to stand until juicy, about 10 minutes.
- Heat 1-tablespoon oil in small saucepan. Add shallot and cook until translucent and softened, approximately 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add tomatoes. Stir gently.
- Place vinegar in a small bowl and whisk while adding in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Whisk until emulsified and smooth.
- Add tomatoes to oil/vinegar and, if needed, season with additional salt & pepper.
- Add fresh chives, parsley or basil and mix well.
- Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve.
- The vinaigrette will keep up to three days, but is best used within 24 hours.
- *If desired, sprinkle with additional fresh herbs when ready to use.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Here is a proven method for cutting many small, round, soft foods such as cherry tomatoes or grapes: