Weekday Vegetarian: Candied Tomatoes

Weekday Vegetarian: Candied TomatoesPhoto: Kelly Rossiter/CC BY 2.0

I don't need a calendar to tell me that we have hit the middle of August. When you spend most of your summer outside as I do, there are lots of clues to the impending end of summer. In June it's light at 5:00 am, but now the sky doesn't start to change until 6:00 am. The angle and quality of light is different. The evenings are just a bit cooler, and the morning sun reveals the steam rising from the lake. And of course, I have lots of tomatoes.

Although there are thousands of recipes for tomatoes, in the summer time I really just want to slice them and eat them with a bit of salt and pepper, or have a simple tomato sandwich. However, we were off to a yearly potluck dinner on the lake and I was bringing the appetizer, so a couple of sliced tomatoes wasn't really going to be acceptable. Bruschetta gets kind of boring after a while, so this recipe for candied tomatoes was a nice twist for a topping.

The recipe calls for the tomatoes to be served on top of baked ricotta, but I was transporting this across the lake in a boat, so I settled for spooning it over some ripe Camembert on a baguette. Tomato and brie are a great combination, too.I cooked it a little bit longer than the recipe called for so that the tomatoes would breakdown a bit more, allowing me to put them on the cheese, rather than serving them more or less whole over a big wheel of cheese. I had fresh basil on hand, and that's the herb I used.

This recipe is from Food52.

Candied Tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup vermouth
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 sprigs marjoram, or leafy herb of your choice
sea salt

1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then drop in the tomatoes. Cook, stirring frequently, until the skins on the tomatoes start to split. Pull the pan off the flame, add the vermouth and return to the heat. Add the brown sugar and herbs and stir until the sugar is melted. Add a generous pinch of salt. Lower the heat and cook gently until the liquid is reduced to a syrupy coating for the tomatoes. The tomatoes will collapse and some may disintegrate. That’s fine.

2. When ready to serve, spoon the candied tomatoes over the warm baked cheese and serve with sliced baguette or crostini.

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Weekday Vegetarian: Candied Tomatoes
Tired of bruschetta? Here's an alternative way to use up cherry tomatoes.

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