When the heirloom tomatoes finally ripen, they seem to all ripen at once. You need a great way to preserve summer’s bounty-and this is IT!
Smoked Tomatoes on the Grill
With some flavorful woodchips and a grill, you can roast those tomatoes to juicy tenderness, all bathed in flavorful smoke. There’s really no recipe, just a method. First, you soak some woodchips for at least 4 hours. I used cherry, but you can pick your favorite. I buy chips prepared for just his purpose, and sometimes go for apple, mesquite, hickory, or one of the other popular woods. Get yourself a smoker box, like the one in the video, or make a foil packet for the soaked chips. Leave the top open for the smoke to escape, or poke the top full of holes. Put it in the center of the grill or over a hot spot, to get hot faster. Fire up the grill on high to get the chips to start smoldering. Move the box or packet to one side of the grill when it starts to smoke.
While the chips heat up, core your tomatoes and fit them in a pan you can put on the grill. I have one designed for the grill, but if you use a metal baking pan that you don’t mind ruining, or a disposable cake pan, it will work just as well. Drizzle in olive oil, and place a handful of fresh thyme in the pan. Cover it with cored tomatoes, stuff some halved garlic cloves in the cores, and scatter some sliced shallots over it all. When the chips start to give off smoke, put the tomatoes on the other side of the grill and lower the heat on that side to almost off. Close the lid and let them smoke for about 30 minutes total, spritzing the chips with water to keep them from burning up too fast. When the tomatoes are bursting and browned on top, take off the grill. Cool completely, chill until cold, and transfer to freezer bags.
Now you have smoked tomatoes on the grill. Freeze for winter, and you’ll be so glad to pull them out and toss with pasta, on pizza, or stir into salsa or soup.
Save the taste of summer, with Smoked Tomatoes on the Grill.