3 Tasty Things to do with Tomato Slices
...you may not have thought of
I'm not a big fan of tomatoes by themselves or on hamburgers. Generally, anything tomato related is just sort-of-all-right some of the time. Some tomato options, however, surprise me with their tastiness and leave me wanting seconds.
Here are three of my favorite sliced tomato options. These can create a tasty low-calorie snack, lunch, or great side dish. They are generally easy to make and quick to prepare, though some require some chilling time before they can be eaten. Although meat can be added, they all can be easily made vegetarian friendly. The first can even be made vegan friendly.
Slicing and marinating tomatoes for several hours can add an extra zing. Creating a quick, homemade marinade is easy, and normally includes an acidic element, such as red wine vinegar, an oil, usually olive, and two or three other seasonings. Vinaigrette dressings can also be used to marinate tomatoes.
Once the marinade is placed over the tomatoes, the slices are usually covered and chilled for a few hours before serving.
Layer cheese with the tomato slices to create even more flavor and add to the presentation.
A simple, but tasty, marinade from Betty Crocker
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3 drops hot pepper sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried basil OR 1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
- 2 minced cloves garlic
- Combine all ingredients in a sealed container and then shake well to mix.
Broil 'Em with Cheese
Sliced tomatoes may also be broiled. Placing sliced cheese over the tomato slices and sticking them under the broiler for 1-2 minutes can create a tasty treat. Nearly any hard cheese can be used. Try broiling after marinating for extra flavor.
Don't feel like heating up the broiler? Just pop the tomatoes in the microwave for 30-60 seconds instead.
Add 'Em to Grilled Cheese
We all know tomato slices can top burgers, melts, and cold meat sandwiches. They are a must in clubs and part of the name in BLTs, but an under-advocated use of the tomato slice topping is on grilled cheese.
I was skeptical the first time I put a tomato slice on my grilled cheese sandwich, fitted snugly between those two familiar pieces of cheese. Grilled cheese, after all, is a classic in the way only those meals your mom made you as a kid can be.
I was pleasantly surprised to find it added flavor without detracting from the familiar childhood comfort food feeling. To be really exciting you can add cooked bacon too.
Delicious Grilled Cheese Recipe
- 8 slices sourdough bread
- 8 slices of cheddar or american cheese
- 1 large tomato (sliced)
- Spreadable margarine or butter
- 8 slices of bacon (optional)
- Cut bacon slices in half and fry, if using. Remove onto a paper towel to drain, and set aside.
- Butter one side of each slice of bread.
- Place 4 slices of bread, butter side down, in a clean skillet or frying pan and heat on medium. If your pan isn't large enough to hold them all at once, make the sandwiches in batches.
- Build the sandwiches in the pan. Place 4 half-slices of bacon (if using) evenly over the bread slices. Then, add a piece of cheese. Place 1-2 tomato slices on the cheese and cover with a second cheese slice. Finally, place the second piece of bread (butter side up) on top.
- Carefully flip the sandwiches after 2-3 minutes and allow the other bread slice to brown. Remove after cheese has melted and the bread is browned on both sides.
- Cut, if desired, and serve.
Did you know...?
A tomato is considered a fruit or a vegetable depending on the context in which it is used. Generally, and scientifically, a tomato is a fruit. However, when speaking in culinary terms, tomatoes are normally considered vegetables because they are used in savory dishes and not to sweeten as most fruits are.