Here's a great way to use up tiny tomatoes. It's versatile: almost as delicious with good-quality, out-of-season tomatoes as it is with tomatoes straight out of the garden. Roasting draws out the tomatoes' sweetness; the herbs give them extra zing. You can swap out the mozzarella cheese for goat or blue cheese. You can serve over greens instead of bread. The roasted tomatoes are also great mixed with pasta, arugula and Parmesan cheese.
Servings: 4 small appetizer servings
- 12 2- to 3-inch tomatoes
- 20 cherry tomatoes, such as Sungold
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon minced rosemary, (from a 4-inch sprig, tough stem removed)
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced, plus 1 whole clove garlic, skin removed
- 4 slices Tuscan bread (or other good-quality rustic white bread)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6-ounce ball fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds and pithy membranes. Place the tomatoes cut side down on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels; allow to drain for at least 10 minutes.
Combine the pepper, salt, rosemary, minced garlic and olive oil in a large bowl; whisk to blend. Add the tomato halves, stir to coat with the oil mixture, and let stand for 15 minutes.
Remove the paper towels from the cookie sheet and discard. Place the tomato halves, cut side up, on the cookie sheet. Position the cherry tomatoes on one side of the cookie sheet and the larger tomatoes on the other side. Drizzle with the remaining marinade.
Roast the tomatoes until they are softened and browned on the bottom and on the edges. The cherry tomatoes will take about 15 to 20 minutes to roast; the larger tomatoes will need around 25 to 30 minutes. Watch them closely as they near the end of the cooking time; tomatoes can burn quickly. Let the tomatoes cool while preparing the toast.
Set the oven to broil.
Place the bread slices on a rack and put the rack several inches under the broiler. Brown both sides of the bread, broiling for about 1 minute on each side, watching carefully to prevent burning. Remove the bread and rub the whole garlic clove on one side of each piece of bread. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on each piece of bread and top with a slice of mozzarella cheese. Generously top each slice with roasted tomatoes; garnish with torn basil leaves, if desired. Serve immediately.
Cindy Brown of Green Spring Gardens.
Tested by Jane Touzalin.
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