Over the summer, we are overwhelmed with the intense flavours of all of the fresh fruit and vegetables. From asparagus at the beginning to tomatoes towards the end, I try to enjoy them all in season and prepared in ways that showcase different elements of each ingredient.
Today, the market had an abundance of tiny cherry tomatoes. When you scoop out the flesh of a halved tomato of any kind, the strained pulp has a concentration of flavour compounds unique to that portion of the tomato. Not to get too scientific, they have a higher concentration of good nitrogen-containing compounds. These compounds give tomatoes that “meaty” flavour and when you try the flavour in isolation, it’s a vibrant burst unlike a simple tomato.
In place of a dressed salad idea, today, I wanted to use this potent flavour within each tomato to accent some grilled vegetables. I happened to grill a selection of peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and patty pan squash, but adding halved green onions, more tomatoes or even firmer fruit would be great for this salad. Enjoy!
Grilled Vegetable Salad with Yellow Tomato Essence
For the Grilled Vegetables:
2 small zucchini/courgette, sliced lengthwise in 1cm (1/2″) slices
1/2 medium eggplant/aubergine, sliced lengthwise in 1cm (1/2″) slices
2 small or 1-1/2 large sweet peppers (I used a red and purple sweet pepper), stem and seeds removed, cut into large chunks
2 small patty pan squashes, cut into rough chunks
2 Tbsp cold pressed canola oil
Drizzle all of the vegetables with oil and rub to coat them completely.
On a grill set to medium high, grill the vegetables for 5-7 minutes per side until golden and softened. Cut into rough 2cm/1″ thick slices. Set aside.
For the Yellow Tomato Essence:
10 yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
Scoop the pulp from the tomato halves. Set the pulp in a strainer over a bowl and press the juices and pulp through, leaving the seeds behind.
The juices don’t need to be clear. There will be a slight opacity from the strained pulp.
Cut the cherry tomato halves lengthwise in two and set aside.
For the salad:
Cut cherry tomatoes
Reserved Yellow Tomato Essence
Reserved Grilled Vegetables
On two plates, scatter the cut cherry tomatoes along the bottom. Mound the centre of each tomato pile with grilled vegetables and spoon over tomato essence. Serves 2.