Tomatoes On the BBQ?!
The growing season in Ontario is short and each fruit and vegetable has a preciously small window of time to grace our plates. Fresh-out-of-the-garden tomatoes are possibly my favourite thing to eat - out of hand, in a sauce or roasted with its comrades over a smokey barbecue.
Tossing a tomato on the barbie probably isn't the first thing you'd think of, while brainstorming the perfect summer salad, but let me teach you my ways, friends. You'll quickly become addicted to smoked tomatoes and you'll also perfect "smoking veggies on the barbecue for beginners" with this simple but, insanely delicious recipe.
SMOKED TOMATO + FRESH BUFFALO MOZZARELLA SALAD W/ BASIL + BALSAMIC
- 1 pint of ripe cherry tomatoes
- 6 large basil leaves, finely sliced, plus a few small leaves for garnish
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup of your favourite olives, pitted
- 1 ball of the freshest buffalo mozzarella you can find
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Maldon sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups of hickory, cherrywood or applewood wood chips, soaked in water for 1 hour
Place wood chips is a large bowl, cover with warm water and weigh down with a plate, ensuring they are fully immersed in water - leave them for at least an hour to soak fully.
When the wood chips are smoked, preheat your bbq to 250 degrees celsius using only one side of the grill. Drain the wood chips and wrap them in tin foil - on one side of the package carefully pierce small holes in the foil with a toothpick. Place the wood chips on the fire, with the holes facing up, and close the lid allowing the smoke to build up.
Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the seasoned tomatoes in a disposable pie pan and place over the side of the grill that isn’t turned on.Smoke the tomatoes for 30-40 min, until they are soft and slightly darker.
Once the tomatoes have finished smoking, toss them with a splash of balsamic and sliced basil and season to taste with salt, pepper and more balsamic if needed.
Plate the tomatoes and top them with the buffalo mozzarella. Drizzle the mozzarella with some extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkling of the Maldon salt and some fresh pepper. Garnish with the small basil leaves and enjoy with warm, toasty bread.