Posted on 27 August 2008 by

On Cherry Tomatoes

By Kira Hamman

Just when you start to think the tomatoes will never be ripe and you’ll be stuck eating zucchini and chard for the rest of your life, the cherry tomatoes throw you a bone.


I love cherry tomatoes.

Although they lack the glamour of the big guys, they more than make up for it in spunk. Maybe it’s because I’m only 5’2” myself, but I have a lot respect for things that come in small packages.

Cherry tomatoes, perhaps because they’re on the vine for a shorter time, seem to be less prone to pests and disease than their larger counterparts. Because they’re smaller and therefore have fewer seeds, they’re less wet and gloppy when chopped. And they’re so versatile! Besides being the perfect salad ingredient, they can be served at nearly any meal or in between. To wit:

  • Halve them and sauté briefly in hot olive oil with a little salt. Serve with a fried egg and toast for breakfast.
  • Quarter them and stir in some hot peppers and cilantro for a quick salsa at lunch.
  • Halve them and toss with salt, olive oil, and basil for a no-cook topping for pasta, polenta, or bruschetta at dinner.
  • Serve a big bowl of cherry tomatoes with a little dish of one of those fancy salts as an hors d’oeuvre and watch them disappear.
  • Make green cherry tomato pickles. You can use the same recipe you’d use for regular tomatoes, but these will be adorable little bite-sized numbers.
  • Freeze them whole — no blanching or peeling required. Drop them whole and frozen in soups, stews, and sauces during the winter. They’ll slowly disintegrate and release all that stored up summer taste.

Or, of course, you can eat every last one of them as you stand in the garden and wait for the Brandywines to ripen. Yum!

3 Responses to “On Cherry Tomatoes”

  1. Shibaguyz Says:

    We LOVE the idea of freezing them… it’s just that none of them seem to last that long. Maybe next year we’ll have to plant more.

    We either eat them directly from the vines while we are working in the garden and need/want a snack or throw them into the ingredients to sweet-tart up a pasta topping.

    Yup… might have to plant more next year…

  2. Nancy Bond Says:

    Cherry tomatoes are yum, and I have to smile every time I think of them. When my Dad was still gardening, he used to grow several varieties of small tomatoes in his hothouse, just for my youngest daughter. Once a week or so, she’d trot down to Grandad’s and fill a quart ice cream container with these little red jewels, then sit and eat most of them in one sitting! It became a bit of a family joke after a while, and she still loves them. She’s a vegetarian — perhaps that’s why she was so drawn to them, even back then. 🙂 Great suggestions for using them.

  3. our friend Ben Says:

    Cherry tomatoes rule! Sungold, Yellow Pear, Yellow Plum, Pink Quartz…. so many wonderful colors and flavors. I love putting a multicolored mix on a tossed salad, or just serving a bowl with good cheese, hot-sweet pickles, mixed olives, and other hors d’oeuvres. (And, of course, salt, as you say.) Another endearing trait of cherry tomatoes is that, unlike the big guys, they produce fabulously in my in-ground greenhouse bed, so we can enjoy them all winter, too!

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