5 Ingredients or Fewer

Melty Cheddar Tomatoes

May 25, 2021
4.3 Stars
Photo by Amanda Widis
Author Notes

My favorite Big Little Recipes show all their cards in the title. For instance, chicken noodle soup (with just chicken and noodles) or chocolate–peanut butter mousse (with just chocolate and peanut butter). Or melty cheddar tomatoes (with just, well, you get the idea).

Pretty much any variety of tomato—except for cherry or grape, which are too small—will work here. Just make sure it’s in-season for the biggest flavor. The wedge size, too, is flexible. Larger wedges (figure 1 ½ inch–thick) will take slightly longer to cook, yielding meatier pieces, while thinner wedges (say, just under 1 inch) will soften and slouch quicker, ending up more delicate. Just give them a poke after a few minutes in the skillet and don’t overthink it.

Likewise, sharp cheddar can make way for mild, white or yellow. You could even substitute in another cheese if that’s all you have around—Monterey or pepper jack, provolone, Gruyère, anything that easily melts. (For that reason, steer clear of squeaky feta and halloumi, as well as crumbly-aged Parmesan and Pecorino Romano, in this case.)

This is one of our Big Little Recipes, our weekly column all about dishes with big flavor and little ingredient lists. Do you know (and love) a recipe that’s low in ask, high in reward? Let us know in the comments.Emma Laperruque

  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • Serves 2
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, then add the olive oil. When that’s shimmery and hot, add the tomatoes and shake the pan so they shuffle into a single layer. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and let them sizzle for about 3 minutes, or until they’re tender and starting to brown on the bottom. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to shuffle the tomatoes around, then cover completely with the grated cheese. As soon as most of it has melted, cut the heat. Serve straight out of the skillet with something starchy for soaking up the cheesy-tomatoey sauce.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • smasseff
    smasseff
  • Danna Farabee
    Danna Farabee
  • 102bleu
    102bleu
  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque

9 Reviews

smasseff May 25, 2021
I was initially hesitant to try this...I mean really, just tomatoes and cheddar? But, boy, was I surprised. Somehow, such simple ingredients transformed into something truly magical. I made this two days in a row and gobbled it up myself each time. So. freaking. good. I used a big, beautiful beefsteak tomato and a mature, aged cheddar. I also added a clove of thinly sliced garlic with the tomatoes as well as eggs with the cheddar at the end. Topped with parsley and *chef's kiss*!
Oh, and definitely be generous with the salt and oil, y'all — you'll be thanking yourself.
 
FS April 27, 2021
Even better: add some eggs. Delicious!
 
55 J. January 16, 2021
A tomato season favorite. Best tomatoes, and best cheddar. Added a little jalapeno for heart. Simple and straightforward to make.
 
Wendy September 15, 2020
I’ve made this all summer long with gorgeous local early girl tomatoes. A big ol’ hunk of bread with the skillet right on my lap was the scene. I didn’t even share!
 
Danna F. August 10, 2020
The sheer simplicity with quality ingredients makes this a stunning dish.
 
102bleu July 16, 2020
I made this recipe and it is just yummy. I added a large very thinly sliced garlic clove and 10 thyme sprigs right when I put the tomatoes in. I used Jasper Hills Melting Cheddar and it was perfect. I served with grilled marinated olive bread, will make this again for sure. Next time I will try adding some anchovies on top at the very end. This recipe would be wonderful in a wood fired oven.
 
Author Comment
Emma L. July 17, 2020
Mmmm always love an anchovy!
 
Pat F. July 26, 2021
Yes to the garlic! I made this last night and it came out great. I brushed some sliced sourdough bread with olive oil and toasted it under the broiler briefly, then rubbed with a big clove of garlic. I broke up the remaining garlic and tossed it into the pan with the tomatoes to cook a bit before the cheese went on top. The bread was great with the cheesy tomatoes.
 
102bleu July 16, 2020
I made this recipe and it is just yummy. I added a large very thinly sliced garlic clove and 10 thyme sprigs right when I put the tomatoes in. I used Jasper Hills Melting Cheddar and it was perfect. I served with grilled marinated olive bread, will make this again for sure. Next time I will try adding some anchovies on top at the very end.