Charred Tomato Vinaigrette


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    2 cups

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

I’m not suggesting that you go to the trouble of preparing a charcoal fire just to grill the tomatoes for this vinaigrette—there are several alternatives that are just fine. But if you have the grill fired up for something else, go ahead and cook the tomatoes; you can refrigerate them overnight and make the dressing the next day.


  • pounds firm ripe tomatoes
  • cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for oiling the vegetables for grilling
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup or so homemade vegetable or chicken stock or your favorite canned broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped black olives (oil-cured are best here)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Preheat a Broiler or stovetop grill or prepare a charcoal fire. Cut out the stem ends of the tomatoes. Lightly oil the tomatoes and the garlic (just rub it on with your fingers). Grill the tomatoes and garlic, turning frequently, until they are browned and charred in spots, about 4 minutes. (You may need to use a basket or fine mesh grate if you’re cooking over charcoal.) Set a strainer over a bowl. Cut the tomatoes in half over the strainer and then gently squeeze out the juice and seeds into the strainer. Reserve the juice and discard the seeds.

Chop the tomato flesh and skin and add to the juice. Peel the garlic and chop finely, then add it to the tomato. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, stock, cup of the olive oil, lemon juice, basil, mint, and olives, and add the tomato mixture. Taste, and season with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice. If it seems too thick, thin it by adding a little stock, water, or tomato juice. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.