Vegetarian Grilling Series: Grilled Caprese Tomatoes

Grilled Caprese Tomatoes

If you are grilling for Independence Day weekend, this is a really simple and delicious vegetarian dish that also would work well as an appetizer for omnivorous crowds.  They are pretty, fresh tasting, and a bit messy, all of which adds up to a great holiday barbecue meal.  I recommend grilling up some garlic-rubbed bread and eating these with a nice glass of wine or fresh lemonade–preferably in a shirt that can stand to get a little juice down the front.

To make these I sliced the tops off of a half dozen Roma tomatoes (please note that I should have said top side–the idea is to make a little boat, as pictured) and scooped out the seeds with a spoon.  This is one of those very rare occasions when I suggest that you buy tomatoes that are not too ripe, as if they are too soft they will not hold up on the grill.  After you scoop out the seeds, sprinkle the insides of the tomatoes with a little salt and then turn them over and let the juices drain out onto some paper toweling for about fifteen minutes.  While they are draining, chop up some fresh mozzarella cheese (the kind that is soft and often comes in brine) and toss it with some fresh basil, the chopped tomato tops, and a pinch of salt.  I also tossed in some Aleppo pepper for a little fruity chile kick.  Pile some of this into your tomatoes and they are ready for the grill.  I had some mushroom caps on hand, so I gave those the same treatment.

Ready to grill

Place these on your grill over medium-high heat, arranging them in clusters to help keep them from tipping over (I always end up tossing a few things to the squirrels when I grill, as I am a bit of klutz with the tongs–we have happy squirrels).  Close the grill and check them after five minutes–you want the tomatoes and mushrooms to be softened and browning, and the cheese to be bubbly.  This took about ten minutes total.

When the vegetables are close to finished, throw some bread on the grill to toast up.  I used a split Ciabatta drizzled with some garlic-infused olive oil.  Place it all on a platter, sprinkle on some extra basil and pepper, and hand out the napkins.

These would also be good served over pasta or quinoa, or just straight up on their own.  Full of cheesy, vegetable goodness and so easy.

Thanks for reading,


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  1. I'm definitely adding this to Monday's grill! This and a glass of wine…what a party!

  2. Love this idea for the grill! Did you enter them in this weeks vegetarian Get Grilling'. Hope so…

  3. Marla, will do–I thought the deadline had passed. Shawn, hope you enjoy!

  4. These look so good. I love all of these flavors and especially when they're grilled. Best of luck with the contest!

  5. delicious! Have some home grown tomatoes waiting to be grilled – thanks for this yummy idea!

  6. Good..I read this just in time, as I'm heading to the grocery store. These look awesome! Good luck with the contest. 🙂

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