Nothing gets me more excited than tomatoes in the summer. Sweet, juicy and so versatile, it is my to-go option when I am clueless about what to make for dinner. Whether you use them in tarts, salads or sandwiches or as a side dish to any grilled meat or fish, they never disappoint. One delicious way to cook tomatoes is roasting them. This method pushes the flavours of the tomato to the limits and transforms its freshness into ultimate decadence.
It is not a secret that tomato, mozarella and basil are amazing together, however the sweetness of the slow roasted tomato will take this traditional combo to the next level.
My suggestion: Since they will have a long time in the oven, try to roast as many tomatoes as you can. By adding good olive oil and herbs to a jar together with the roasted tomatoes, you will have one of the best antipasti in the world that will last for days in the fridge. You can eat them as a snack or as an addition to any salad or sandwich.
Wine tip: Chianti or Barbera d’ Asti
Roasted Tomato & Mozzarella Crostini
- 500 grams cherry tomatoes (use different kinds and colors if available)
- A few springs of thyme
- 3 cloves of garlic
- One ball of fresh mozzarella
- Fresh basil leaves
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- One baguette or other crusty bread
Preheat oven to 100°C.
Cut the cherry tomatoes in halves and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet along with the cloves of garlic, skin on and whole. Add a few spring of thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle with enough extra virgin olive oil to coat everything and toss.
The tray will go into the preheated oven for approximately 2.5 – 3 hours. This depends on the size of your tomatoes. What you are looking for is an almost sundried tomato look and feel, but with some moisture left inside. The tomatoes should look wrinkly and caramelized. When in doubt, try one and decide if you want to leave them longer or if they are to your taste. Once done, take out of the oven and let cool. Discard the garlic.
Slice the mozzarella as thin as you can and set aside. Pick some small basil leaves or julienne a few big leaves.
Halve a clove of garlic and rub the bread slices all over. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a grill pan. Add the sliced bread to the pan and grill on both sides. Once golden all over, remove from the heat.
Add a couple slices of mozzarella to the toasted bread overlapping them for full coverage. Top with a few roasted cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and add a few grains of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Decorate with the basil leaves. Serve warm or room temperature.