Chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s Grilled Tomatoes

If you can get your hands on really good tomatoes, this simply delicious salad is what you ought to make.

Chef Alex Guarnaschelli's Grilled Tomatoes
The Home Cook

When it comes to this refreshing, grilled tomato salad, “it’s in the details, not any unsual ingredients,” says chef Alex Guarnaschelli. With just a little bit of extra effort, like crisping the oregano in the oil for the dressing, you can take a simple list of ingredients and create a supremely tasty side dish.

Recipes courtesy of and published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, 2017.

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Prep time

10 min.

Cook time

10 min.

  • 4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 sprigs fresh oregano, stemmed
  • 1⁄2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 limes
  • 7 large heirloom tomatoes (about 2 1⁄2 lbs), cut into 1 1⁄2-inch-thick slices
  • 2 Tbsp Maldon sea salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

Preheat a grill to high heat.

Make the dressing: In a small sauté pan, warm 2 Tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat, and add the fresh oregano. Cook the oregano in the warm oil until the green color fades and the leaves crisp up, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour the oil and oregano into a medium bowl. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil and the dried oregano. Cut the limes in half, and squeeze all the juice into the bowl. Use a citrus reamer or a spoon to scrape the pulp from the limes as well, and add the pulp to the bowl. Whisk all together. Taste for seasoning.

Grill the heirloom tomatoes: Arrange the tomato slices in a single layer on two baking sheets. Season them on both sides with some of the Maldon salt, black pepper, and sugar. Put the cherry tomatoes on a separate baking sheet and season them, too. Use a pair of tongs to transfer the large tomato slices to the grill, arranging them in a single layer. Let them sit until they get a nice grill mark on the bottom (and a great charred flavor), 2 to 3 minutes. Turn them over, and let them cook for a few minutes longer. Transfer the grilled tomatoes to a serving platter. Top with the cherry tomato halves.

Finish the salad: Drizzle the tomatoes with the dressing and sprinkle with any remaining sea salt. Taste a piece of tomato to check the seasoning. If it lacks sweetness, a sprinkle of sugar on the tomatoes can make all the difference. Serve immediately.