Georgetown University junior Bethany Imondi says she came up with this salad based on ingredients she had on hand. She was inspired to roast the tomatoes after watching an episode of "Barefoot Contessa" on Food Network, and she learned to rub garlic on the bread during a trip to Italy.
Make Ahead: The assembled salad needs to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, stemmed as needed
- 2 medium cloves garlic
- Half a regular-size French baguette
- About 15 large basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
- Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Cut the tomatoes in half and place in a medium bowl. Cut one of the garlic cloves in half; rub the cut sides on the bread slices, then cut the slices into bite-size cubes and add to the bowl. Mince the remaining clove of garlic plus the cut garlic; add to the tomatoes.
Tear or chop 10 of the basil leaves and add to the bowl, then season the tomato-bread mixture with the salt and pepper; toss to combine, then spread in an even layer on the lined baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil (to taste). Bake for 25 minutes, or until the tomatoes have deflated and begun to caramelize slightly. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a serving bowl along with the cubed mozzarella. Toss to incorporate.
Tear or chop the remaining 5 basil leaves and sprinkle them over the salad, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving, to allow the flavors to blend.
From Georgetown University student Bethany Imondi.
Tested by Bethany Imondi.
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