Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Slow Roasted Tomato Bruschetta


I've been roasting the last of this summer's tomatoes. When they've shriveled sufficiently, I let them cool, slip off the skins, freeze them on a cookie sheet, then transfer them to storage bags to use singly or by the hand full as I need them.

After two days of being embraced by the heavenly fragrance of roasting tomatoes, garlic, oregano and thyme, I was done preserving for later.

I wanted to eat some tomatoes now.

Really. The tomato flavor is so concentrated, sweet and tart at the same time, it's hard not to eat them straight out of the pan.

What to make?

Well anything that calls for tomatoes - soup, salsa, marinara, red rice, roasted tomatoes chopped with basil in a bowl of cooked pasta, on pizza, on bread.

Bread!

Thus, tomato bruschetta.

Wow!




Ingredients

For the tomatoes:
2 pounds of tomatoes yields about 1 cup of slow-roasted tomatoes
Fresh garlic, crushed and roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Oregano
Thyme

For the bruschetta:
Red-wine or balsamic vinegar
Chopped kalamata olives
Tony's Creole Seasoning
Mozzarella, feta or Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil

Toast points or crusty French bread sliced for crostini



Preparation

1. Wash, halve and core tomatoes. Spray a non-reactive pan with a little olive oil. Place tomato halves face down. Sprinkle with crushed, chopped garlic,  oregano, thyme. Roast at 250 degrees until the skin starts to bubble and blacken - about three hours. When tomatoes are done, remove from the oven. Slip off the skins when they are sufficiently cool to handle and dice.

2. Combine in a small bowl with a two tablespoons of olive oil, two tablespoons of red-wine vinegar, a dash of Creole seasoning and a hand full of roughly chopped Greek olives.

3. Thinly slice bread into "points" or crostini. Brush lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic powder and bake at 350 degrees until just starting to toast - about six minutes. Flip them over and bake for another two or three minutes.

4. When lightly tan, remove from the oven. Then load them up with the tomato-olive mixture. Top with fresh basil and grated cheese. Pop back into the oven and bake a few minutes longer until the cheese melts.



You'll think of a myriad of variations on this; you're only limited by your imagination and the availability of fresh, home-grown tomatoes.

~Adapted from a recipe on Chow Hound
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