Garlicky Marinated Tomatoes 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Jul 31, 2017

This is summer "cooking" at its best -- earning those quote marks because only the marinade gets a sizzle so the tomatoes will pick up flavor from a warm bath of olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes.

Finish with basil and you've got a bed for fish, chicken or eggs, or a topper for grilled bread. You can even puree the leftovers with peppers and onions for an easy gazpacho.

See two flavor VARIATIONS, below.

Make Ahead: The tomatoes need to marinate at room temperature for at least 15 minutes, and up to 3 hours, before serving.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings; makes about 2 cups

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, each cut in half if small; cored and coarsely chopped if large
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
  • 1 small handful fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced


Combine the oil, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes in a small skillet over medium heat. Once the garlic starts to sizzle (about 30 seconds), pour the mixture into a mixing bowl, making sure to scrape the pan with a wooden spoon to get every little bit.

Add the tomatoes, vinegar and salt, stirring well to incorporate. Taste and add more salt, as needed (tomatoes love salt). Let the tomatoes sit for at least 15 minutes before serving or cover them and let them sit at room temperature for up to 3 hours. Right before serving, stir in the basil. The yield is about 2 cups.

VARIATIONS: To make Vietnamese-Style Marinated Tomatoes, add 1 tablespoon peeled/minced fresh ginger root to the pan along with the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Substitute fish sauce for the sherry vinegar (same amount). Just before serving, add 1 small handful each of coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, mint and basil (preferably Thai basil).

To make Puttanesca-Style Marinated Tomatoes, add 4 broken-up anchovies and 2 tablespoons capers to the pan along with the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Just before serving, add a large handful of coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley and a large handful of pitted/chopped green or black olives.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author Julia Turshen.

Tested by Sandhya Babu.

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