These Smoked Cherry Tomatoes with Basil and Goat Cheese are the perfect side dish for any BBQ! Only 5 minutes for an easy prep with a show stopping taste, you'll have yourself one super-simple AND healthy summer side dish!
It's getting warm again here in Phoenix, AZ and that means it's time to break out my grill! I actually went a step further and broke out my smoker, too! Let me ask you, do you love the taste of smoked meat? Think about it...do you love eating Smoked Turkey during the Thanksgiving and Christmas? What about BBQ Smoked Ribs around Memorial Day and the 4th of July? The answer is YES! Who doesn't love the taste of smoked meat?!
But...have you ever smoked your SIDE DISHES? If you haven't let me tell you why you should:
- It's super convenient to cook all your food in one spot,
- Less clean up,
- The flavor of smoked side dishes is out of this world!
Queue in the Smoked Cherry Tomatoes with Basil and Goat Cheese...
Out. Of. This. World. Guys, I don't even LIKE tomatoes. Ok, well I like them in certain sauces but definately not raw. Nope...not eating raw tomatoes. Like ever. But recently, I started roasting cherry tomatoes in the oven and they were really good! So I thought...what if I smoked these red little beauties? And again Out. Of. This. World.
So, why smoked tomatoes?
- Super simple and easy side dish to prep.
- Fresh flavor combinations with the basil and creaminess of the goat cheese.
- Only 6 basic and fresh ingredients.
Emphasis on the word FRESH. The fresh flavors and simple easy marinade makes this side dish what it is, incredibly delicious with no fuss.
Prepare Your Smoker
Tips and Tricks - Yep, there's a couple of things you should do before you start smoking your food.
- Wrap your water bowl with aluminum foil before you add the water. By doing this you're saving yourself a lot of mess. Less cleanup is always better!
- Are you going to use wood chips or chunks? Personally, I like using chunks because it's been my experience that they produce more smoke for a longer period of time. But with this Smoked Cherry Tomatoes with Basil and Goat Cheese recipe, it's a quick smoke (about an hour) so chips would work fine in this scenario. If you're smoking a pork butt, I'd recommend chunks. I did smoke a whole chicken while I smokes these tomatoes and I used Applewood chunks. Flavor turned out amazing!
- Do you need to soak your chips or chunks before smoking meat? There's a lot of debate out there on this one but here's my personal opinion from my own experience. When I used wood chips and didn't soak them, they burned. So I started soaking them the night before and while smoking my food they didn't burn. I moved to chunks and continued soaking them the night before out of habit. Do you have to pre-soak chunks, no - you don't have to. But why mess up a good thing? I've have a good experience with soaking both chips and chunks so I continue to do it.
- I wrap my wood chunks in aluminum foil and poke holes in the aluminum foil with a fork. To me, the smoke pouch helps provide more flavor.
- I preheat my smoker before I place the food in. It takes about 30 minutes to warm up my smoker to 225 degrees.
- I choose to use a bit of Liquid Smoke in my water when smoking because it provides an extra smokey flavor.
- I love using a flavored olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar in my marinade. It's makes the flavor "POP"! I buy all my oils and vinegars from Oil & Vinegar.
How to Prep Smoked Cherry Tomatoes with Basil and Goat Cheese
Rinse those beautiful red cherry tomatoes and place in a bowl.
Next, grab some fresh basil and slice into thin strips. Add fresh goat cheese crumbles.
In a large ziplock baggie, add the tomatoes, fresh basil, goat cheese crumbles, olive oil, Balsamic Vinegar, salt and pepper. Zip that bag close and shake well to combine all the ingredients. Place baggie in refrigerator and marinate for at least 2 hours.
Next, pour the cherry tomatoes and marinade onto a piece of aluminum foil.
Fold the aluminum foil around the cherry tomato mixture and form into a pocket. Before closing the pocket, add 1 Tablespoon of water. Seal the aluminum pocket. The reason you want to seal the foil packet is so the tomatoes don't dry out and become shriveled.
Expert Tip: Poke holes in the foil packet with a fork to allow the smoke to penetrate the tomatoes.
You're now ready to place your cherry tomatoes in the smoker!
Smoke time for these tomatoes is about an hour. After they are done smoking, open up your aluminum pocket and pour into a bowl. Top these smoked tomatoes with more fresh sliced basil and goat cheese crumbles. Add a bit of fresh ground pepper and you are ready to eat!
Looks amazing, right?
Other Smoked Foods
What's your all time favorite side dish? I bet you can make it on the smoker! Leave me a comment below on other side dishes you've smoked!
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Smoked Cherry Tomatoes with Basil and Goat Cheese
- 25-30 Cherry Tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, (use a flavored one if you have it)
- 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar, (use a flavored one if you have it)
- ⅛ cup Goat Cheese, crumbled and divided
- ⅛ cup Fresh Basil, sliced and divided
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 1 Tablespoon Water
- 2 Tablspoons Liquid Smoke, optional
- Rinse the cherry tomatoes and place in a bowl.
- Next, grab a handful of fresh basil and slice into thin strips and set aside.
- In a large ziplock baggie, add the tomatoes, fresh basil, Balsamic Vinegar, goat cheese crumbles, olive oil, salt and pepper. Zip that bag close and shake well to combine all the ingredients. Place baggie in refrigerator and marinate for at least 2 hours.
- After the tomatoes have marinated, start preparing your smoker by getting the wood chips or chunks ready, filling up your water pan (add the liquid smoke in this step if you wish to) and then light your smoker. When the temperature on your smoker reaches 225, you're ready to place the foil packet containing the tomatoes in the smoker.
- While your smoker is preheating, pour the cherry tomatoes and remaining marinade onto a piece of long aluminum foil.
- Fold the aluminum foil around the cherry tomato mixture and form into a pocket. Before closing the pocket, add 1 Tablespoon of water. Seal the aluminum pocket.
- Place your cherry tomatoes foil packet in the smoker and let it cook for 1 hour.
- After the tomatoes are done smoking, open up the aluminum pocket and pour tomatoes into a bowl.
- Top these smoked tomatoes with more fresh sliced basil and goat cheese crumbles. Add a bit of fresh ground pepper and you are ready to eat!
- I used Applewood wood chunks for this recipe.
- Using liquid smoke is optional. It will add a more smokey flavor to your food if you opt to use it.
- Adding 1 Tablespoon of water to the aluminum foil packet before sealing helps provide additional moisture to cook the tomatoes.
- Using a flavored olive oil and balsamic vinegar really brings out the flavors in your food, but it's fine to use a basic olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar.
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