Summer is the best time of the year to eat the many varieties of tomatoes that are out there-whether they are cherry tomatoes, beefsteak, heirloom, zebra… the list goes on and on! Those sweet, juicy, plump colourful gems taste absolutely delicious after ripening outside under the sun. This gives them a deep and rich tomato flavour and makes them taste incredibly sweet. I also love the texture of tomatoes that have been grown in the summer as they are juicy and yet still firm and not ‘mealy’ like the tomatoes that you get during the winter!
While I can go on and on about the reasons why I love tomatoes and tell you about all the different varieties that are available, I will save that for a later post. For now, I would like to share a delicious recipe that uses my favourite tomatoes of the season: cherry tomatoes. They pack an incredibly sweet punch (for a tomato, that is) and just burst open with flavourful juices once you pop them in your mouth.
If you thought that cherry tomatoes couldn’t get any more flavourful than that already are, you thought wrong! Roasting these succulent little babies with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper really concentrates the tomato flavour and makes them incredibly sweet! If you really want to further enhance the flavour of the tomatoes, use a tried and true Italian trick of adding a drizzle of balsamic vinegar before roasting. The balsamic vinegar caramelizes incredibly well in the oven and makes the tomatoes even sweeter.
In this recipe for Steak Salad with Roasted Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette, you get the best of both worlds: fresh, juicy cherry tomatoes and sweet roasted tomatoes. The vinaigrette is incredibly easy to make. Simply roast the cherry tomatoes with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar until they have blistered and have begun to pop. Then add them directly to a food processor along with a fresh clove of garlic, fresh basil leaves, a bit more balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and a dash of water. Blitz everything together until the vinaigrette is completely smooth and then pour it right over your salad. This Roasted Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette is so delicious that I could just eat this right off the spoon!
Doesn’t that vinaigrette look so luscious?!
To hold up this bold vinaigrette, I use hearty romaine lettuce. This variety of lettuce is found in most grocery stores and is relatively neutral in flavour. I particularly like how refreshing romaine lettuce is since it naturally contains lots of water which softens the boldness of the vinaigrette. I also like adding some sliced grilled steak to this salad since the roasted tomatoes pair so well with the grilled meat. For a guide to grilling up the perfect steak, check out my What’s In Season guide on How to Grill a Steak. Topped off with some fresh halved cherry tomatoes and baby basil leaves and you will have an amazing summer salad!
Close-up shot of a delicious, juicy cherry tomato!
Let me know in the comments below if you are a fan of tomatoes and what your favourite tomato variety is! If you aren’t a fan of tomatoes, let me know why! I’m sure I can make you a fan with this recipe in just one bite!
For the full recipe for my Steak Salad with Roasted Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette, click here!