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Burnt Tomato Halves

A delicious summer side dish fit for any cookout.

Side dish: Burnt Tomato Halves


4 firm, ripe tomatoes

Extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt

16 black peppercorns (see note)

2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves


1. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until a drop of water sizzles on the surface. Meanwhile, cut tomatoes in half.

2. Brush cut side of tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt to taste. Place tomatoes cut side down on hot surface. Don’t move them for 8 to 10 minutes or they’ll burst. The bottoms of tomatoes will show a black line of char all around when they’re done.

3. Using a spatula, lift tomatoes off hot surface and invert onto a plate, burnt side up. Cut crosshatches into the surface of the tomatoes. Sprinkle with peppercorns and oregano, drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Note: If whole peppercorns are problematic, they can be ground or coarsely cracked.

Serves 4

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