I’m so horrified that as kids, my brother and I threw cherry tomatoes over the hedge at oncoming cars. The splat as the little red bomb hit the car was immensely fun. My brother would throw them high, so they arced in the air and the driver could see them coming, but couldn’t stop fast enough to avoid them. Fortunately, no one was ever hurt and we never got in trouble for it (throwing snowballs at cars, yes, but that’s a different story!)
If my kids had done that, naturally I would’ve worried about the safety of the drivers. But I would also be upset about the use of my beloved cherry and grape tomatoes for pranks. No, no no, those little morsels of yumminess are special! There is a sublime moment when you pop the first cherry tomato off the vine into your mouth. It’s an explosion of fresh summer flavor!
If you grow these tasty bursts of flavor, you know they grow like weeds. In fact, they easily reseed themselves and we often find one or two plants where the seeds have blown into the flower garden. It’s not too late to add a cherry tomato plant to your garden. If you don’t have room in your garden, they do really well in pots.
We enjoy cherry and grape tomatoes raw, roasted, sautéd, and on the grill. I often sauté whatever veggies I have on hand like this yummy recipe for Summer Squash Sauté. The tomatoes add that extra zing of flavor and color.
I love to cook with cherry and grape tomatoes all year ‘round. However, nothing beats fresh off the vine summer veggies. My favorite way to serve these little tomatoes is freshly washed, tossed with a dash of salt or chopped basil; simple and yet elegant. Guests go crazy for them!
Like larger tomatoes, cherry and grape tomatoes are packed with nutrients. The little bites are high in fiber and vitamin C, plus they have a high concentration of vitamin B-6, which helps your body metabolize protein and supports cognitive development and brain function. The vitamin A in tomatoes helps your body produce white blood cells and keeps your heart, lungs and kidneys working properly. Like other types of tomatoes, cherry tomatoes are a wonderful source of lycopene, which can help with issues like inflammation and blood clotting.
I tend to use the name “cherry tomatoes” interchangeably with grape tomatoes. It’s all about little tomatoes to me! They both taste great but there are subtle differences in taste and how they cook. A cherry tomato is round and looks like miniature beefsteak tomato. Cherry tomatoes have a higher water content and a thin skin so you’ll need to be careful not to squirt the sweet juice when you bite one! Some folks love how they burst when cooked. The grape tomato resembles grapes in their oblong shape. The grape has a thicker skin and less water and is described as beefier. I like to cook with both varieties and all the colors of each (yellow, orange, red and green.)