First gardening success of 2014! I have two perfectly ripe cherry tomatoes on the vine that are awaiting a delicious home. If I were a tomato I’d like to be made into bruschetta. Preferably coated in garlic, olive oil, and herbs and then roasted in the oven until perfectly sweet. I probably wouldn’t turn down being tossed in a Caprese salad, either.
Tomatoes are a fickle vegetable. Or fruit. It depends how you look at it. (I’m on team vegetable, by the way.)
In the summer months tomatoes are incredibly sweet, juicy, and beautiful. There is something irresistible about a display of freshly picked tomatoes at the market. The vibrant red color and the distinctively tomato-y smell is enough to make my mouth water! I admit to being 100% defenseless when it comes to heirloom tomatoes; I’m talking B-line to the vendor’s table while grabbing for my money. I blame it on all those amazing colors and precious names; brandywine, cherokee purple, and green zebra…I mean COME ON! In the winter tomatoes can be mealy, hard, and tasteless. Thumbs down! Because tomatoes can go from completely amazing to completely forgettable its time to celebrate their season! Bring on the tomato sauce, tomato soup, tomato/mozzarella anything, salsa, and bruschetta of any kind!
I love, love, love bruschetta. Its the first appetizer that comes to mind when entertaining and the first to be inhaled at the table. You may remember this photo from my 4th of July recap:
This is me posing for a photo 17 seconds before I inhaled that bruschetta. What’s not to love about toasty bread, goat cheese, roasted tomatoes, and fresh basil?! Don’t judge me.
- 8-10 slices bread; you can use baguette, rye, sourdough, italian or your favorite variety
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp. thyme, removed from stem and minced
- 1 tbsp. parsley, minced
- 1/2 c. fresh goat cheese or chevre
- 1 tbsp. fresh basil, minced
- salt/pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Toss tomatoes in a mixing bowl. Add garlic and olive oil; toss to combine. Each tomato should be coated with olive oil. Add thyme and parsley.
Toss to distribute herbs and pour into an even layer in a large casserole dish. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the tomatoes being to shrivel and burst; this is when you know the sweetness is concentrating. If your cherry tomatoes are small it may take less time; if you purchased giant cherry tomatoes it may take a few minutes longer. Sorry for the missing photo of this step! I toasted my bread on the grill for a couple minutes on each side, but you could also throw it in the oven for a few minutes or use the toaster. While tomatoes are cooking place the goat cheese on the counter to help it soften slightly.
Spread a layer of goat cheese on the toast then spoon a few roasted tomatoes on top. Arrange on a pretty serving platter and sprinkle with fresh basil. Red wine is the perfect pairing for roasted tomato bruschetta. This appetizer reminds me of summer and get togethers and happiness. Enjoy!