When you think of summer grilling, tomatoes probably aren't the first thing to come to mind, but they take beautifully to a little char and smoke. This recipe is loosely inspired by a tapas dish from Gourmet magazine -- Roasted Sweet Onions with Cabrales Blue Cheese. A few summers ago, I adapted it for tomatoes, and it's been a favorite ever since. What I like most is the contrast of flavor and texture in each bite. Large, firm tomatoes (beefsteak or meaty heirlooms) work best since they hold up nicely on the grill. They taste equally good served warm or at room temperature, making them a nice make-ahead dish that can be served as tapas or family style on a large platter. —EmilyC
pine nuts, lightly toasted
large, firm tomatoes, cored and sliced horizontally 1/2" to 3/4" thick (beefsteak or meaty heirlooms work well)
olive oil (for coating the tomatoes before grilling)
kosher salt and pepper, to taste
extra virgin olive oil
teaspoon finely chopped anchovy, from one small anchovy fillet
Cabrales (or other blue cheese), crumbled
Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, shaking the pan often to ensure even browning. When lightly toasted and fragrant, remove skillet from heat and transfer pine nuts to a plate to cool.
Preheat grill to medium, or alternatively, prepare grill pan indoors.
Brush tomatoes with olive oil on both sides to fully coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Go light on the salt if you're using a particularly salty blue cheese.
Grill tomatoes until lightly charred on each side, about 2 minutes total. Flip the tomatoes every 30 seconds to make sure they don’t burn.
In a small bowl, whisk together extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, and anchovy. Taste for seasoning and balance.
Off the grill, top each tomato slice with crumbled Cabrales and drizzle with the anchovy vinaigrette. Top with toasted pine nuts.