A series of traditional mediterrean receipe with cherry tomatoes , garlic, origanum and olive oil, Vertical from above, wood table. (Photo by: Costanza Sigismondi/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
What Are Blistered Tomatoes, And How Do You
Make Them?
By Haldan Kirsch
Blistered tomatoes are simply cherry or grape tomatoes that have been briefly sautéed. This quick and gentle heat is all they need to unlock their greatest flavor potential.
They can also be dressed with other ingredients, like garlic, balsamic vinegar, red chili pepper, or fresh herbs. Once seasoned, they’re great as a side, sauce, or salad addition.
The reason that blistered tomatoes taste so great has to do with the fifth taste, umami. It’s a savory and complex range of flavors caused mainly by glutamate or glutamic acids.
When our taste buds detect these naturally-occurring compounds, they register it as the rich, savory flavor we associate with these foods. More glutamic acid means more flavor.
Cherry tomatoes already have an average of 20-30 milligrams more of these compounds than larger tomatoes. Blistering them is a faster way to develop that rich, saucy flavor.
Start by heating oil in a pan over medium heat. Add any desired aromatics, like garlic or shallots, and cook them briefly until fragrant before adding your cherry tomatoes.
Once the tomatoes are in the pan, leave them alone for the first couple of minutes. This will help char them nicely on one side and start to blister.
Stir them and give them another few minutes to blister completely. Once they're done and off the heat, add gentle ingredients like a balsamic glaze or fresh herbs before serving.