Friday, September 9, 2016

“Naked” Cherry Tomato Salad – Sans Skin for the Win

I’ve wanted to show this “naked” cherry tomato technique for a while now, and after having something very similar at a Japanese restaurant recently, I decided the time was right. The tomatoes this time of year in Northern California are spectacularly sweet, and there is literally no better way to enjoy them, and that includes eaten raw.

You really don’t have any idea how tough a cherry tomato skin really is, until it’s not there anymore. With this we get that same sweet/tart explosion of juicy flavor, as the fruit pops in your mouth, but with no skin to distract us. We’re talking pure tomato pleasure.

I used sherry vinegar, since my tomatoes were like candy, but if yours are less stellar, you may want to go with a sweeter vinegar, like rice or balsamic. By the way, I usually go with basil for this, but the shiso they used at the restaurant worked so perfectly, that I decided to go with mint, which has a similar fragrance and sweetness.

I realize that peeling cherry tomatoes may seem tedious, or even ridiculous, and I’m sure there was a time when I felt the exactly same way; but then you try these, and it all makes complete sense. I really hope you give these naked cherry tomatoes a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 6 "Amuse Bouche" sized portions:
24 perfect cherry tomatoes (3 per portion, plus extra for “quality control”)
a little fresh mint, basil, or shiso
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper
course sea salt to finish, optional

16 comments:

Susan Oneill said...

This why I love you so much. Great app easy and delicious.
Why are you not on the food network?

Karen Francis said...

Oh Yum, how deliciously simple....
This would be amazing as well, paired up with some baby bocconcini, nestled together on a freakishly small cocktail stick and served with some crusty Italian bread.

Jeff Keener said...

Will definitely make this dish.

Just want to say, I love the way you combine culinary goodness with wry, punny humor!!

I can never wait for the next video!!

Breezy Kimerly said...

Sounds like that would go well with green olives and mozzarella. Ooooh! And maybe dry salami!

Mar said...

Do you serve these right out of the refrigerator? Or should the come up to room temperature first?

rodentraiser said...

I bought a pint of cherry tomatoes at the farmer's market and I've just been eating them out of the bowl, not sure what I wanted to do with them. And then I come here and see this video. ♥♥♥

Thank you, Chef John, this is perfect! But as the tomatoes I have are only the size of my thumbnail and since I refuse to share, I'm eating more than just three. In fact, I'm going to finish the rest of them off.

Patricia Reitz said...

Chef John - can you recommend a particular brand of sherry vinegar?

Robin Betts said...

I just tried these, and they were a little bit of magic. If a restaurant was brave enough to put something so simple, delicious, and fuss-free in front of me, I would know I could trust the rest of the meal; it would be my kind of place.

James Doherty said...

Chef John what brand of knifes do use? I am looking to buy a new set. Do you have any recommendations? Thanks!

Jason Smith said...

This brought a tear to my eye! Thanks, C.J.!

Leigh said...

I'm going to make these and serve them with your amazing parmlette (which I have already made twice) on Tuesday.

shimaajikun said...

Thanks Chef John.
I served this to the family last night and we all loved it. The teenager who normally grunts actually raved about it.

Silly Grub said...

There is nothing more complex than something simple, is there? :)

Anyway, great little appetizer.

rancholyn said...

Serving this to my Mah Jong Ladies: Thanks

philogaia said...

@susanOneill: As far as I'm concerned Chef John is too real for Food Network. I'm still nonplussed over Aarti Sequeria. Loved her video blog. But when she got lucky (for her) and on Food Network she couldn't do anything personal anymore and she is just all network.

CJ: I do hope you are very successful and selfishly hope you don't get on FN. And I'm totally going to try this recipe with the crazy explosion of cherry tomatoes I have in my garden right now!

Albert Taylor said...

OMG!!! Chef John you are DA MAN. This was OUTSTANDING