Today I’m sharing a recipe for balsamic tomatoes from The Vegan Air Fryer by JL Fields. If you have an excess of summer tomatoes, this is a side dish recipe you’re going to want. Vegan & gluten-free.
One thing that I love about my air fryer is that I can make tasty frozen foods with no thawing necessary and perfectly crisp results. It elevates frozen Trader Joe’s potstickers, pakora, spring rolls, tater tots, and anything from Gardein into a crunchier, more crackling version of itself.
But an air fryer isn’t just useful for frozen foods. It’s a great way to incorporate more homemade treats into your life without the need for lots of added oil. (You can also cook in an air fryer with no oil at all.)
The Vegan Air Fryer by JL Fields
When you’re just starting out in the world of air fryers, it can seem a little intimidating. JL Fields is a big air fryer enthusiast, and she seeks to make air frying a breeze with her new cookbook, The Vegan Air Fryer. Her easy recipes include ingredients you likely already have in your cupboard.
She says about herself in the book, “You should know what I’m not: a fancy cook or trained chef. And what I am: a home cook, a cooking coach, and a faculty member of a university culinary program… I simply want to help people make delicious vegan food that’s easy to prepare, so that more and more people will eat vegan food.”
So if air fryers and/or cooking plant-based meals has seemed intimidating to you, no worries here.
The Vegan Air Fryer covers the basics like common ingredients, notes on safety, and a list of accessories that are useful for air frying. Then we get down to the nitty gritty – the recipes. There’s everything from snacks and appetizers through breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
I had a chance to make a few things from JL’s book:
I made Soy Curl fries as a snack, but they’d also work in a sandwich or wrap.
The Soy Curl fries were light and crisp in the air fryer and seasoned with chili powder and chipotle avocado oil. I added a pinch of salt to finish things off.
These kale and potato nuggets are like air fryer colcannon. Mashed potatoes are combined with garlicky chopped kale, formed into balls, and air fried until browned.
I served them with roasted broccoli and Gardein fishless filets (along with malt vinegar and lemon, of course!) You can find the kale and potato nuggets recipe here.
With cinnamon and sugar on the outside, these doughnut holes taste like a cross between a churro and a baked doughnut. (I had a hard time getting the cinnamon sugar mixture to stick to the doughnuts, and so I gave them an additional spritz of oil before rolling them in it.)
The doughnuts weren’t overly sweet and could be served for breakfast or dessert. (Although, I’d probably cut back on the salt in the recipe the next time around.)
Finally, with summer tomato season in full bloom, I made balsamic tomatoes. These wedges are dipped in balsamic vinegar with black pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes.
(The red pepper gives it a wonderfully zippy bite. If you’re averse to heat, you may want to pull back a smidge. Although, I loved the hit of heat.)
They are then air fried for about 6 minutes. I forgot to add the spritz of oil spray, and they were still fabulous without it!
These balsamic tomatoes would be a wonderful summertime side dish, as well as a great addition to pasta. I added a drizzle of balsamic glaze to the plate for extra sweetness and flair.
Balsamic Herbed Tomatoes
- Pour the vinegar into a shallow dish. Stir in the salt, pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Dip each tomato slice into the vinegar mixture.
- Preheat the air fryer to 360°F for 3 minutes.
- Arrange the tomatoes, in a single layer, on a grill insert or directly in the air fryer (you should be able to cook 2 to 4 slices at a time, depending upon the size of your air fryer). To increase the cooking capacity, place a rack accessory over the grill insert or basket, which will allow for two layers of tomatoes to cook at once. Spoon the remaining vinegar mixture over each tomato. Spritz the oil over the tomatoes.
- Cook at 360°F for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the tomatoes carefully with a spatula.