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Cherry Tomatoes

September 27, 2016 - Cherry Tomatoes - Radio Kitchen    

All this wonderful weather has been welcome in the farm fields of Maryland.  Much to our delight, tomatoes are still coming in, and that is very good news.  While full-sized tomatoes get most of our attention, we should not forget the little guys.  As Chef Jerry Pellegrino points out, the little guys will be around a lot longer than the full sized tomatoes, which are approaching the end of their season.

Cherry Tomatoes

Here are some varieties available at the farmers market:

- Gardener's Gourmet has Black Prince, a smallish dark tomato

-  Thanksgiving Farm has Matt's Wild Cherry tomato, very small and very  sweet

-  Glenville Hollow Farms has the pear shaped Mint Julep

One Straw Farm has the "Artisan Blend"  with Black Cherry (round and dark), Sun Gold (medium gold), Blush (an oblong greenish gold), Sunrise Bumblebee (stripey round, that comes in red, pink and purple) andLucky Tiger (an oblong stripey red)

And what can you do with these little tomatoes?  Here are some ideas.

-The obvious:  mixed cherry tomato salad... the more varieties the better.

Toss lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper.

- Cherry tomato soup, spicy and creamy.  Garnish with quartered cherry tomatoes.

-Stuffed cherry tomatoes, (use a large variety, stuff with cream cheese and herb


-Home made pizza with cherry tomatoes, bacon and onions.

-Part of a shish kebab or other skewered dish.

- Use a few different varieties to make a colorful salsa or chutney.

- Slow cooked oven-roasted cherry tomatoes:  working with at least two pounds of cherry tomatoes...cut in half, place face up in a single layer on a non-stick cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

-Cook at lowest oven setting for two hours.  Place in a sauce pan and with a wooden spoon, mash into a paste.  Freeze the paste or use immediately in a tomato sauce.

-A variation is to oven-dry them:  arrange on a parchment sheet, cut side up, bake slowly for 6 hours at lowest oven setting.  When they are dried, they can be used immediately (especially as hors d'oeuvres) or frozen.


Al Spoler, well known to WYPR listeners as the wine-loving co-host of "Cellar Notes" has had a long-standing parallel interest in cooking as well. Al has said, the moment he started getting serious about Sunday night dinners was the same moment he started getting serious about wine. Over the years, he has benefited greatly from being a member of the Cork and Fork Society of Baltimore, a gentlemen's dining club that serves black tie meals cooked by the members themselves who are some of Baltimore's most accomplished amateur cooks.
Executive Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Corks restaurant is fascinated by food and wine, and the way they work in harmony on the palate. His understanding of the two goes all the way to the molecular level, drawing on his advanced education in molecular biology. His cuisine is simple and surprising, pairing unexpected ingredients together to work with Corks' extensive wine offerings.