Slow roasting tomatoes, whether in the oven or on the grill, are an amazing treat. Add a little smoke to them… well, that just sends them over the top!
I am not a big fan of the sun dried tomato. – I think the 1980’s kind of ruined them for me. Slow roasted or smoke roasted tomatoes are another thing altogether. They are not dried to the point of jerky, just to the point where most of the moisture is gone, but are still plump. The flavor become super concentrated and sweet.
I made these on the charcoal grill with just a couple small pieces of olive hardwood, but can just as easily (if not more easily) be done on a gass grill. Use any kind or wood or wood chips you’d like. I wouldn’t use mesquite unless you were going to put the tomatoes on a beef burger.
These smoke roasted tomatoes are the perfect topper for a really great burger. Not only that, but they are sturdy enough to make the perfect base for hors d’oeuvres like those in the picture. One is topped with a basil leaf and a marinated boccacini (fresh small mozzarella balls) – burrata in place of the mozzarella would be amazing! The other has one of my favorite goat cheeses – Purple Haze from Cypress Grove -with hints of fennel pollen and lavender all it needed was a small thyme sprig and a little cracked pepper.
- Plump, ripe tomatoes
- Sea salt
- Fresh thyme
- Set up grill for indirect heat grilling with a smoke box or hardwood for a charcoal grill. Try to keep internal temperature at or below 300°F
- Core tomatoes and slice in half and scoop out seeds. Place on grilling grid or baking racks, cut side up, lightly sprinkle with sea salt, and top with a sprig of thyme.
- Set rack or grid on grill away from the heat and close grill cover. Cook for 1 to 1-1/2 hours adding more smoking chips or hardwood charcoal as needed.
- Tomatoes can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days or packed in a jar and covered with olive oil in the refrigerator for weeks.
Cheers and Happy Grilling!