Intro: Grilled Tomatoes on a Stick
This is my entry in the "Stuff On A Stick" contest, and as a topping for the "Pizza Contest". Please rate it or vote for it when the time comes!
Grilling tomatoes amplifies their flavor into some sort of Super Tomato. These are awesome as a side on their own and would be great on a white pizza or other tomato dishes. This is quick and easy and can be done with ingredients found in most kitchens. What you don't have you can probably substitute something else for it.
What you need:
Tomatoes - fresh garden tomatoes recommended. Haven't tried this with crummy hot-house tomatoes, but it may work.
Oil & Vinegar or Italian Dressing
Seasonings - whatever you like - oregano, season-all, or nothing
Grated Parmesan Cheese - or not
Step 1: Prep Work
Cut the tomato in half across it's width, not through the stem - see pic.
Scoop out the seeds and liquid bits with a small spoon. Leave the fleshy solid parts.
Add some seasoning. For this one I was using "Salad Supreme." Any of your favorites will work, or don't add anything if you're into the whole brevity thing.
Pour in some oil & vinegar or Italian Dressing. If you don't already know how to make oil & vinegar dressing, here's the basics - 3 parts oil, 1 part vinegar. Olive oil and red wine vinegar are our favorites, but you could get by with vegetable oil and white vinegar. Maybe even just oil. Main thing is you want it lubricated so it doesn't stick to the grill.
Speaking of the grill get that heated up. Medium to high heat should do.
And of course, put a stick in it. I put one tomato on each stick, but you could do a few. If you're concerned about the tomato spinning on the stick, you could use two, but this is the "Stuff on a Stick" contest, not the "Stuff on Two Sticks" contest!
Step 2: Face Down!
Slap those bad boys on the grill, cut side down. Time will depend on grill heat and size of the tomato. Maybe 2-3 minutes for average size and average heat. I wait until they start to look kinda cooked on the cut face. When they look ready, flip them over. There's really no wrong way to do this, it's not like an undercooked tomato is going to hurt you. If you screw it up, your mistake will still be delicious.
Step 3: Face Up!
Turn them over and pour on some grated parmesan cheese. Romano would probably be good too, but I don't have any at the moment. If you're not feeling cheesy, you could skip this part, but I like it. Some bread crumbs might add a nice texture as well.
Close the lid and let it cook for another 2 minutes or so. I usually go until the skin starts to look wrinkled and the cheese starts to melt or brown.
IF you let them go too long, they'll get soft and be hard to handle. Still edible, but soft and mushy.
Step 4: Presentation
Off the grill and onto a plate. Freakin' delicious. I'm not sure how or why, but propane and propane accessories* bring out the flavor in tomatoes.
So that's it. Very easy to make and very delicious to eat. Really no wrong way to do them. After a few tries, you'll have your cook times figured out for your grill. It's tomato season here (August in Pennsylvania) and I've been eating these just about every day. Also, the stick isn't really necessary, they could be turned with a pair of tongs...but again, this isn't the stuff on a pair of tongs contest!
*Yes, charcoal would work too.