Grill Your Heirloom Tomatoes For An Easy Summer Side Dish

plate of fresh heirloom tomatoes
plate of fresh heirloom tomatoes - Istetiana/Getty Images

The sun-drenched summer days have finally arrived, and it's time to bust out the grill for some unforgettable outdoor fun. While hearty, savory proteins are always on the table, let's not overlook the summer harvests, either. Heirloom tomatoes, for example, make a phenomenal side dish when grilled with the right seasonings and toppings. They turn into flavorful gems that would make perfect companions for any grilled main course.

At their core, heirloom tomatoes still carry that tangy, tart taste familiar to regular hybrid tomatoes. What sets it apart, however, is the sweet undertone that brings a special element of intrigue. Delightful enough on its own, it only gets better when met with the grill's dancing flame. The hidden flavor notes are brought forward and intensified to a much more captivating level while the fresh base remains the same. Along with that is a smokiness that adds variety to the texture and nuance to the overall profile. What comes off the grill are soft, juicy heirloom tomatoes laced with a beautiful complexity. Slightly charred around the edges with vibrant pops of colors, grilled heirloom tomatoes are certainly a sight to behold and a joy to eat.

Read more: Styles Of Regional BBQ In The US

Grilling Heirloom Tomatoes Is An Easy Process With Loads Of Fun Potential

platter of heirloom tomatoes
platter of heirloom tomatoes - Mark Van Dam/Getty Images

Grilling heirloom tomatoes is a three-step process that's relatively quick and easy. Prepare the tomatoes as you wait for the grill to heat up. Slice them in half latitudinally and scoop out the pulps and seeds. Drizzle them with olive oil and begin grilling, cut-side down, until charred marks have formed, which should take around four minutes. Then, flip to the other side and grill for another one or two minutes. Once done, take them off the grill and add your preferred seasonings.

Salt and pepper is a good start, but don't hesitate to try spices like garlic powder, cayenne pepper, or paprika for a more robust taste, or chopped herbs such as thyme, basil, and oregano to impart a fragrant touch. With a drizzle of olive oil, Italian dressing, lemon juice, or balsamic vinegar, your grilled tomatoes are good to go. For those who like that cheesy tanginess, take the extra step and sprinkle some grated parmesan or feta cheese crumbles over top.

As for serving, these grilled tomatoes would be perfect at any great summer barbecue when served alongside sizzling steaks, skewered chicken, or juicy burgers. They're good enough on their own, but you can also incorporate them into salads like Caprese or panzanella for a more substantial side dish. You might also like them laid over toasted bread (much like the classic bruschetta) for a delightful mix of crisp and tenderness in every bite.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.