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Skillet Charred Tomatoes with Fennel & Basil

Tomato & Basil with Fennel

The kids are back to school. Summer is at the tail end; in Texas we will still have a few weeks of heat  & then the more pleasant weather creeps in. Hot it is here, but I still feel sorry to see the summer go.The Labor Day, almost officially announced that summer will be gone soon, & gone will be the delightful fruits, berries, the warmth & the colors.

If you have noticed, the tomatoes in the first picture are not the same ones as in the recipe. The recipe has been sitting for quite sometime, the pictures being taken the first time I made it. The top picture is more recent, & this time I made it with the tomatoes & basil from my garden.:-)

I had encountered a recipe in the Food & Wine that had used squash blossoms along with skillet grilled tomatoes. Some time back Ilva of Lucullian Delights had posted a pasta which had fennel in it, & since then I had been wanting to use fennel with the so delicious tomatoes we are getting right now. I used fennel here, which the original recipe did not have, & I have to say I loved it. The basil is growing in the pots inside my house; I had almost given up on them, but they are doing pretty good!

Skillet charred tomatoes 3

Skillet Charred Tomatoes with Fennel & Basil


  1. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 2  pints small (cherry, candy or grape) tomatoes
  3. 1.5  teaspoon fennel seeds
  4. 1/2 Cup  basil leaves, chopped or roughly torn
  5. Salt and freshly ground pepper


Roughly grind the Fennel Seeds with a mortar & pestle.

Heat a  skillet (preferably a  cast-iron) over high heat until smoking.

Add the olive oil, tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are lightly charred and about to burst, 3-4 minutes. Add the fennel seeds & give it a good toss.

Switch off the heat, stir in the basil. Season with salt and pepper and serve right away.


They were just so aromatic & wonderfully delicious just by themselves! I have made this a couple of times now & did a pasta sauce with the same flavors, which I might post later. I had Arjun try to take pictures of the tomatoes falling from the skillet – in action ;-) But with all the lighting issues, none came out too good. The second picture was one of them.

Related Posts:

Grilled Onion

Herbed Carrots with Ginger Garlic Butter

Roasted Garlic

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