Summer on a stick: Barbecued tomatoes with a zingy hummus

The warmth of the barbecue really accentuates the sweetness of the tomatoes

Delicious: barbecued tomatoes with lemon and harissa hummus

Delicious: barbecued tomatoes with lemon and harissa hummus

 

Add oomph to your Caprese salad and update your bruschetta by placing little baby tomatoes on the barbecue and using those instead of fresh ones. Threading them on to skewers makes it easy to turn and handle, avoiding those plump red orbs from scattering like marbles. Always soak the skewers in water for at least an hour beforehand to avoid them burning. I’ve used multicoloured heritage tomatoes here for a nice variety in flavour and colour. 

I usually cook larger tomatoes on the barbecue like this, too, in a marinade of olive oil, balsamic and some crunchy sea salt and black pepper. I use a grill basket to contain them.

Herbs such as basil, oregano or marjoram pair naturally with tomatoes. I’ve used some lush green thyme here. The warmth of the barbecue really accentuates the sweetness of the tomatoes, so I recommend this method especially if your tomatoes don’t merit being relished in a raw salad.

Mingle

I often pair these grilled tomatoes with cheese, be it mozzarella, feta or goat’s cheese. They’re ideal for making ahead and can be stored in a little olive oil in a jar for a few days in the fridge. They’re best eaten while still warm or at room temperature. Scattering the herbs on them while the tomatoes are still warm encourages all of the flavours to mingle and marinade nicely. Feel free to add crushed garlic or thinly sliced red onion when assembling this as a salad, without the skewers. You can bulk this out into even more of a dish by folding through baby spinach leaves or diced red pepper. 

I love how pretty these are on the skewers, though. The creamy hummus is a nice base for dipping and folding into warm flatbreads served with the tomatoes. I love adding preserved lemon to hummus. It adds a zingy, fizzy pop of salty citrus. As the lemons are packed full of salt for preservation, there is no need for any further salt to be added, but do taste it for seasoning yourself.

You can of course omit the preserved lemon and add a little extra fresh lemon juice or lemon zest. I love sociable food like this on summer nights. This dish makes a nice light lunch or a side dish to a larger feast of lamb chops, chicken or barbecued courgettes and peppers. 

Recipe: Barbecued tomatoes with lemon and harissa hummus

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