Hey there, frugal foodies! Today, we’re diving into a simple yet scrumptious recipe that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds without breaking the bank. Say hello to Marinated Cherry Tomatoes – a burst of freshness in every bite, perfect for summer gatherings or a quick and easy snack.
Not only are these little gems delicious, but I’ll also share some savvy shopping tips to ensure you get the most bang for your buck when buying cherry tomatoes.
About Marinated Cherry Tomatoes:
Marinated cherry tomatoes are a symphony of flavors. Their natural sweetness, combined with the tang of vinegar and the punch of garlic and herbs, makes for a mouthwatering experience.
Marinated cherry tomatoes are a true celebration of summer’s bounty, bringing together vibrant colors and flavors that will wow your taste buds. With just a few simple ingredients and very little effort, you can transform these humble cherry tomatoes into a gourmet treat.
They are incredibly versatile, serving as a vibrant side dish, an excellent addition to salads, or even as a topping for grilled meats. The best part? They’re easy to make and require only a handful of ingredients.
More Ways to Use Marinated Cherry Tomatoes:
Marinated Cherry Tomatoes are fabulous as a simple side, but wait, there’s more!! Here are a few ways to use your bounty!
- Bread & Burrata: Serve as I did on this page with Burrata as a simple summer dinner (It was too hot to cook and almost too hot to even think about eating!) or a starter, maybe on the deck? I served with toasted bread but next time I’ll go with fresh rustic bread to help soak up all the glorious juices!
- Caprese Salad Twist: Toss the marinated cherry tomatoes with fresh mozzarella balls, basil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a twist on the classic Caprese salad.
- Pasta Perfection: Mix marinated cherry tomatoes with your favorite cooked pasta, add some olives and feta cheese, and voila! A quick, refreshing pasta salad is ready.
- Bruschetta Brilliance: Top toasted baguette slices with marinated cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, and a sprinkling of fresh herbs for an easy and impressive appetizer.
- Crostini Topping: Same as above but think about topping your little toasts wth ricotta and then the cherry tomatoes.
- Mediterranean Power Bowl: Use the marinated cherry tomatoes as a vibrant topping for a Mediterranean-style grain bowl, featuring quinoa, chickpeas, cucumber, and olives.
- Bring to the Board Room: Add your cherry tomatoes to any type of charcuterie or cheese board. They’ll add a fresh punch of flavor and color!
Making Marinated Cherry Tomatoes:
Cherry tomatoes are miniature powerhouses, packing a punch of sweet-tart flavor in every bite. Their small size makes them ideal for marinating, as they soak up the delicious blend of herbs and spices, transforming into flavor-packed explosions. Be sure to plan ahead and give your tomatoes time to marinate.
The recipe is simple: just toss together the ingredients and add the cherry tomatoes. If you follow this site (and if you don’t I’d love it if you would) you probably know that I have a preference for stong and bold flavors. If you’re not like me feel free to adjust the recipe. Maybe a little less of the peppers or a little more water.
It is important the tomatoes be sliced in half and I can make that simple for you, too. Just place your cherry tomatoes between two round, plastic lids. Run a sharp knife between them while pressing down on the top lid; a serrated knife works great.
Almost anything marinated just gets better and better with time – within reason, that is. As a matter of fact, this recipe extends the life of your tomatoes. They’ll keep just fine for about five days or so.
The acid from the marinade (the vinegar) is also a preservative.
Saving Money on Marinated Cherry Tomatoes:
Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of being budget-conscious while shopping for cherry tomatoes and other items in this dish.
- Seasonal Shopping: Purchase cherry tomatoes when they are in season, usually during the summer months. They’re abundant and more affordable when they’re locally grown and readily available.
- Watch Sales: Look for discounts when buying cherry tomatoes. Many stores offer better prices per pound or per pint if you purchase more at once. If you watch the sales you might find 2 for 1 sales or special store coupons.
- Check out Buyers Clubs & Discount Stores: The larger big box stores often have cartons of Cherry Tomatoes. This recipe extends the life of the cherry tomato, but if there are too many to use immediately, check out my recipe for Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes. Stores like Aldi and Lydl offer discount pricing without the need to buy in bulk.
- Farmer’s Markets: Check out your local farmer’s markets for the freshest produce at competitive prices. Often, you can find cherry tomatoes sold directly by growers, cutting out the middleman.
- Imperfect Produce: Embrace the imperfect! Some stores offer discounts on slightly bruised or misshapen cherry tomatoes, which are perfect for marinating.
- Grow Your Own: If you have a green thumb, consider growing cherry tomatoes in your garden or even in pots on your windowsill. It’s cost-effective and rewarding, and they taste incredible fresh off the vine!
Don’t forget about the herbs! There’s really not a good substitute for the fresh basil, although in a pinch I suppose you could try a little dried in the marinade. Most fresh herbs are easy to grow and require a minimum of effort – usually you can buy a plant for less than what you’d pay for a packet from the produce section. Burrata, as it has become more common has come down to a reasonable price at the grocery store, but choose wisely.
With these tips and tricks, you’ll be enjoying marinated cherry tomatoes without putting a huge dent in your wallet. Remember, the secret to frugality lies not in sacrificing quality but in finding ingenious ways to make the most of what’s available without compromising on taste. Happy cooking, and bon appétit!Print
Marinated Cherry Tomatoes
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour minimum to marinate
- Total Time: 28 minute
- Yield: varies, about 2 1/2 to 3 cups
- Category: Condiments
- 3 to 4 cups assorted cherry tomatoes, washed & halved
- 1/3 cup oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely minced
- 2 fat cloves garlic, crushed and minced
- 1 teaspoon sugar, honey or agave
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (plus a little to top the final dish)
- pinch red pepper flakes
- about 1 tablespoon‘s worth thinly sliced basil
- 1 or 2 burrata balls
- additional black & red pepper for garnish
- rustic bread, bruschetta, or crostini for serving
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, water, rosemary, garlic, sugar or substitute, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
Gently stir in the cherry tomatoes, ensuring they are well coated with the dressing. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, allowing the flavors to meld together.
Just before serving, garnish with fresh basil.
If making the cherry tomatoes with the burrata, simply add the burrata and sprinkle a little more black and red pepper over top. Serve with bread.
Keywords: Appetizer, Balsamic Vinegar, Burrata, Cheese, Cherry Tomatoes, Condiments, Mozzarella, Salad, Tomatoes, Vinegar