Sun 23 Sep 2018
Read other related stories: Cooking , Cooking With Wood , Recipes , Smoking with chunks
Many of us love to grow vegetable gardens but soon find we have an overabundance of certain items like tomatoes (though these are technically a fruit). I’m here to give you a super easy method of bringing tenderness, juiciness, and great wood flavor to this summer favorite.
Collect your favorite tomato varieties from the garden and meet me at the grill for this great, easy technique.
Preparing for the Grill
With a water content of about 95% and very low caloric value, tomatoes are rich in lycopene and antioxidant linked to heart health and cancer risk reduction. With lots of colors and sizes to choose from, there’s a variety for everyone.
After picking my ripe cherry and grape tomatoes from the vines, I give them a thorough wash and allow to air dry. Since I’m only using small sized tomatoes, I only need to slice the grape ones in half while the cherry size is a perfect fit to just grill-roasting whole. In the meantime, start the grill by lighting the burners on only half the grill. On that side, I place a smoker box that contains 3 small hardwood chunks. This will provide the wood flavoring to the tomatoes. I add about ¼ cup of oil to the tomatoes and mix to coat. With my pan ready, I place it on the unlit side of the grill and close the lid. My lit burners are set to medium-low heat which will maintain a cooking temperature of about 300-325°F.
Tasting Notes: Although I used avocado oil since you are not grilling over direct heat, you can use other oils such as olive, almond, walnut, grapeseed, coconut, sesame, canola, etc.
Nutritional Boost from Cooking
As this is a grill-roasting technique that doesn’t use direct heat but rather the radiant heat built up in the grill, there is no need to do anything during the actual cooking. You’ll know when these tomatoes are ready by the amount of juice that is produced and the wrinkled skin that develops. They will be super tender yet still hold their shape. In fact, research has shown that cooking tomatoes raise the level of beneficial compounds called phytochemicals, making the tomato healthier when cooked.
Now you have an opportunity to do so many things with these super flavorful, healthy, and tender tomatoes.
Tasting Notes: If using a charcoal grill, still use a two-zone cooking set up meaning charcoal on only one side of the grill. Be sure you only cook with hot coals, no flames. This type of grilling can have more challenges to steady temperature so make sure you check the tomato pan more frequently.
What to Make with These Roasted Tomatoes?
Here’s one use for your great wood roasted tomatoes. I take a great baguette and added some wood smoked beef shank. Next, I top the meat with a crunchy salad mix with a bit of siracha dressing, then add a generous helping of our wood roasted tomatoes. Yum!
Don’t forget, these tomatoes freeze well so bundle some up in a freezer safe storage container and you’ll be ready for pop-in guests. They can easily be defrosted in the microwave and reheated on low on the stovetop. Serve with bread or on their own as part of charcuterie board and you will have a hit.
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