I had a person ask me why I plant 2 cherry tomato plants and what do I do with all those little things. The answer is Bruschetta! I found a recipe last year for roasted cherry tomatoes and modified the recipe a little bit. It is one of our favorite summer dishes. I generally collect about 1 cup of cherry tomatoes per person. They shrink when they are roasted and if they don’t shrink much, the leftovers make a fabulous pasta sauce.
If you are making roasted tomatoes for a side dish or for pasta, you can leave the tomatoes whole. For Bruschetta, I quarter each one.
Then take a lot of garlic cloves and cut them up into small chunks. If you don’t like a lot of garlic, you don’t have to roast it with the tomatoes. You can just rub it on the bread to give it a subtle garlic flavor. Our family loves the taste of tomatoes, basil and garlic so we use a lot.
Put the tomatoes and the garlic into a stoneware baking pan. Drizzle the surface of the tomatoes with good quality olive oil. Then sprinkle with ground black pepper and sprinkle with kosher salt. Then bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. If you use a metal pan, it may only take 10-15 minutes and you will want to watch to make sure it doesn’t burn or dry out too much.
While the tomatoes are roasting, slice a loaf of french bread into 1/4 in thick pieces for cracker like texture and 1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces for chewier textured bread. These are cut for chewier texture.
Brush both sides of the bread with good quality olive oil and put into 350 degree oven, flipping the bread every 5 minutes until it starts to brown to your liking. If you choose to not put garlic into your tomato mixture, then rub the fresh-cut garlic over the bread to give it a slight garlic taste.
Finely grate parmesan cheese. For garden fresh vegetables, the canned grated parmesan just doesn’t taste that good.
Sprinkle the tops of the bread slices with the parmesan, then return to the oven and increase the temperature to 400 degrees.
While the cheese is melting, take about 20 fresh basil leaves, stack them, roll them, then julienne. Sprinkle the strips of basil over the roasted tomatoes and toss to make sure everything is mixed together.
Take the bread out of the oven and top each slice with a scoop of tomatoes, garlic and basil.
Wow! I sure love summer!