Cherry tomatoes are slightly more tart and sour than their non-cherry counterparts. They’re also crunchier and juicier. For some, that makes them the diminutive kings of tomatoland. For others, it makes them preferable for snacking on. But what about cooking?
Cherry tomato tart is probably the easiest tart you can hope to make – especially if you have a ready-made pie crust to hand. Simply toss the cherry tomatoes in a little olive oil with salt and pepper, pile them into the pie crust, and bake until the crust is browned.
For something a little extra, coat the inside of the pie crust in ricotta before piling in the cherry tomatoes, then top with chopped fresh herbs.
2. Cherry Tomato Salsa
It’s time to consider subbing cherry tomatoes into your favourite salsa recipe. Why? Because these smaller tomatoes mean less chopping and less liquid all over your countertop.
Admittedly, if aiming for a silky-smooth salsa, then roughly chopped cherry tomatoes aren’t the answer. But count us firmly in the more-rustic-the-better camp when it comes to our Mexican food. Cherry tomatoes are also perfect for chunky, fruity salsas – when paired with peach or mango, for instance.
3. Cherry Tomato Gratin
Cherry tomato gratin is a quick and easy recipe that’s also a delicious way to use up stale bread. Just chop your cherry tomatoes in half, your bread into cubes, and toss together with garlic, herbs, olive oil, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper.
Pop the mixed ingredients together in the oven for 30 minutes and that really is all there is to it. A mouthwatering combination of flavours and textures good enough for a dinner party or date night.
4. Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Roasting cherry tomatoes is one of the best ways to bring out their natural sweetness and is perfect for making a rustic sauce without actually, you know, bothering to make a sauce.
All you have to do is toss the cherry tomatoes in some olive oil and a little salt and pepper, then let them cook in the oven until they start to burst. (Hot tip: leave the cherry tomatoes on the vine for additional flavour when roasting, then remove the vine before serving.)
Keep it simple and serve on top of pasta, bruschetta, or polenta. If you’re feeling spicy, you could also roast the cherry tomatoes with a few cloves of garlic.
5. Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette
Cherry tomatoes can make a delicious base for a salad dressing. Don’t believe us? Then try this.
Slice your cherry tomatoes in half and sauté them in a little oil over a low heat until they start to break down and release their fragrant juices. You can also add some sliced garlic if you like.
Now take your tomatoes off the heat and start building on top of them with the same ingredients you’d use in your usual home-made vinaigrette, such as olive oil, vinegar (we recommend sherry vinegar or white balsamic), and your preferred chopped herbs.
6. Sun-dried cherry tomatoes
Making sun-dried tomatoes at home? Nope, we’re not crazy. These home-dried tomatoes are much cheaper than the ones you’d usually buy in shops and you don’t need a Mediterranean climate to hang them out in either.
OK, so you’ll need to cheat a bit. It isn’t exactly sun-drying per se, but you can replicate the same tangy sweetness by using the lowest setting on your oven. Finally, you get a chance to use it.
Just slice your cherry tomatoes in half, pop them in the oven, and let them dry out for as long as they need to become as dry as you want them. Two hours should be enough if you prefer them tender and juicy – 'sun-blushed' – or about four hours if you want them dry and chewy.