Food & Wine (July 2014)
We like to keep our food simple in the summer: Lots of raw or simply prepared vegetables. Proteins cooked on the grill. Absolute minimal use of the oven.
But simple doesn't have to mean dull. To us, a perfect summer recipe has few ingredients, but big flavors. In Our Favorite Summer Recipes, you'll see lots of variations on this theme, like steaks served with flavorful gremolatas, or an absolutely knock-out summer pesto that we'd slather on almost anything.
A new recipe enters the pantheon of Our Favorite Summer Recipes this week with these Asian Marinated Tomatoes.
They might not look like much, but they pack a crazy punch you won't want to miss.
These tomatoes are featured in the magazine, but they're part of a larger and more involved recipe that's available on the website, featuring the tomatoes, grilled chicken thighs and a coconut broth.
We opted to just focus on the tomatoes themselves, and serve them with grilled chicken breasts. The tomatoes aren't much work -- they're halved and then marinated in a bright mix of lemongrass, ginger, garlic, chili paste, oil and vinegar.
The marinade doesn't seem like much while you're assembling it, but after six hours of hanging out in the liquid, the tomatoes are crazy bold. On their own, unaccompanied by chicken or some other protein, the tomatoes are almost too flavorful. (Is such a thing even possible?)
But this is why the recipe really works for us: Paired with grilled chicken, these Asian Marinated Tomatoes were absolutely knockout. They're just what our grilled chicken has been missing (and we didn't even know it!).
Imagine if a bowl of salsa spent a semster abroad in Thailand, and got really into meditation and mystic Buddhism and lemongrass, and then came home and hopped up on your grilled chicken.
You know, it's kinda like that.
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes plus 6 hours marinating
NOTES FROM ZACH AND CLAY
We served these tomatoes with a simple grilled chicken, which we highly recommend. For a fancier affair, check out Food and Wine's larger recipe for Grilled Chicken with Asian Marinated Tomatoes and a Coconut Broth.
One 2-inch piece of fresh lemongrass with the bulb, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
One 1/2-inch piece of cinnamon stick
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sambal oelek or other Asian chile paste
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the lemongrass, ginger, garlic and cinnamon stick and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a heatproof medium bowl, add the vinegar and sambal oelek and let cool completely. Fold in the tomatoes and 2 teaspoons of salt and marinate at room temperature for at least 6 hours. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.