There is something so beautiful about taking fresh tomatoes and a few other flavorful ingredients and making a beautiful bruschetta topping. In this recipe I roast the tomatoes in olive oil infused with garlic for a rich and sweet flavor. This method works wonders when tomatoes aren’t at their prime. It turns mediocre tomatoes into a flavorful bright spot spot on the menu. If you look at my photos below, you will see how even the color is enhanced by the roasting method. I finished it off with some sweet basil, salt and pepper and balsamic vinegar. So simple and so good. I served this at a recent bridal shower and it got good reviews from everyone.
By the way, the chilling time is essential for infusing the tomatoes with the basil flavor. It’s well worth the wait and makes this a great do a head dish. And this topping can be served a variety of ways. No need to to limit this topping to just bruschetta! Use it to top grilled chicken, serve with fried eggs, or roasted asparagus. I think that there are a lot of options.
I wanted the garlic flavor to be mild, which is why I simply infused the olive oil with the garlic If you want more garlic flavor add a few other garlic cloves to roast with the tomatoes in the oven.
(Yields about 3-4 cups of topping. Can be cut in half)
- 2-3 pounds of fresh, ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves
A handful of fresh basil leaves
1-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
Unrefined salt and freshly ground pepper
1) Crush the garlic cloves firmly and peel. You want the garlic to be well smashed so that it’s flavor infuses well. (Place the flat surface of a large knife on the unpeeled garlic, and give it a smash with your fist). Add the olive oil to a small sauce pan on the stove and add the smashed and peeled garlic cloves. Heat the oil until it is just hot enough to make the garlic start to sizzle. Turn off the heat and set aside. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Farenheit.
2) Wash the tomatoes and cut in half. Place on a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet. Take the garlic cloves out of the olive oil with a spoon or strain it through a fine sieve. Toss the tomatoes with the garlic infused olive oil and salt and pepper the tomatoes generously. Arrange the tomatoes cut side up. Place in the top third of the oven and roast for around 15 to 20 minutes, or until the skins have started to burst.
3) Allow the tomatoes to cool, then cut into bite sized pieces. Tear basil over the tomatoes, drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and mix gently. Taste test and adjust flavors as needed.
Chill for several hours and taste test again before serving. Serve on top of bruschetta (french bread toasted in the oven after being smeared with olive oil and a cut garlic clove) or with whatever else catches your fancy. Enjoy!