Ever since I interviewed food journalist Alicia Kennedy about her daily eating habits, I have been longing for tomato toast, a decidedly summer treat that feels out of reach in the middle of February. Big, juicy tomatoes are not in season at the moment — but tiny tomatoes (such as cherry or grape) are juicy, sweet, and easy to find all year round and, lucky for me, they make a fantastic tomato toast.
Like its big-tomato brethren, tiny tomato toast is a bright, happy dish, perfect for injecting life into a cold, grey morning or rainy lunch hour. You can keep it simple — with grated tomatoes, olive oil, and flake salt — or you can grate the tomatoes atop of some sort of creamy substrate: cream cheese, labneh, whipped cottage cheese, or avocado. I like to keep the layer of creamy stuff pretty thin; you want just enough to form a hydrophobic layer in between the tomatoes and the toast to keep the juices of the former from seeping into the bread and making it soggy .
In terms of toppings, salt is usually plenty, but I’ve recently been wilding out with chilli oil, air-fried ginger, and scallions. Lemon zest, za’atar, sumac, everything bagel seasoning, your favourite vinegar, and very finely grated cheese are all viable options; just remember that the tomatoes are the star. Leave room for them to shine.
I have always been a bit in awe of Alicia Kennedy. Her writing focuses on the intersection of food, capitalism, and ethics, and it’s always thoughtful, beautifully-written, and informative — all without a touch of snobbery. She lives with her boyfriend and egg-loving dog in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where...Read more
The only drawback to grating tiny tomatoes is that there is less to hold onto while you grate, but I — a very clumsy person — haven’t had any mishaps. Hold the fruit at one end of its oblong body (or grab the stem if it has one), then grate it over the toast, letting the seeds, gel, and juicy flesh fall until you are left with a little nub of smashed skin and flesh. Toss that on the toast as well. (Make sure to use a grater with large holes, not a microplane.) Add your seasonings and any finishing touches you desire, and chomp down.