It being high tomato season here in New England I could not pass up this beautiful bunch of heirloom cherry tomatoes. There were red ones and yellow ones and orange ones, and striped ones. Some round and some oblong. What a funky bunch! And don’t you know that there were thick ponytails of fresh basil right next to them?

This recipe is quick, easy to make, and versatile. You see it can be a salad, or it can be a sauce, or it can be a garnish. It’s a great way to have warm tomatoes which still hold their shape (something that is quite often lost when you roast tomatoes). It’s colorful and it’s flavorful and it does a great job of balancing the sweet tomatoes with salty Parmesan cheese.


  • bunch of cherry and/or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 5 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper


  1. Heat a cast iron skillet over a medium-high heat with the olive oil and butter
  2. Carefully place the tomato halves cut-side-down in the pan
  3. Do no stir, but give the pan a horizontal shake to be sure that the tomatoes are not sticking and/or burning, and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes
  4. Carefully pour the tomatoes and any juices into a serving dish and top with grated cheese, ribbons of freshly-snipped basil, salt and pepper. Serve as-is, or over pasta or spaghetti squash, on top of chicken, or any other way that you like