Although we don't think about it often, we eat warm tomatoes all the time. From tomato sauce to tomato soup, tomatoes love being heated up. Heat reveals their sweetness, opening them up for new flavors. Many cuisines know the magic of warm fresh tomatoes. In Asia, tomatoes are added to stir-fries and cooked until they are blistered and burnished.
It's that tradition we're borrowing from for this five-minute tomato dish that showcases the unique sweetness of fresh, ripe baby, cherry, or grape tomatoes. If you love those charmers, this recipe is for you.
In order to get some color on these ripe and watery orbs, you need to let them cook undisturbed in the hot oil for one minute. The sugars in the tomatoes quickly concentrate and crackle and sear in the presence of the hot oil. From there, they only need a quick stir — just one minute more until they reach the desire level of char.
Finish them with honey, capers, and butter and you've got an incredible condiment for grilled steak or lamb chops, or an appetizer as part of a mezze platter that will wow your palate.
Your Fast Tomato Fix
5-Minute Blistered Tomatoes and Capers
olive oil or canola-olive oil blend
grape or cherry tomatoes
freshly ground white pepper
drained small capers
Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet, wok, or heavy-duty sauté pan over high heat until it is shimmering and very hot.
Carefully add the tomatoes, season them with the salt and pepper, and cook undisturbed for 1 minute. Mix gently and cook for another minute. Mix and cook for 1 more minute, each time allowing the tomatoes to char or brown a bit and blister, but not break apart.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the honey, capers, and butter. Mix very gently until the butter melts and the tomatoes are coated. Serve immediately.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Food styling by Barrett Washburne