Thursday, September 1, 2011

From Our Kitchen to Yours: Slow-roasted Tomatoes on Bruschetta

This is a delicious, savory summer appetizer or side dish. The cookbook we found it in notes, "These firm but juicy tomatoes burst with the flavor of the sun. They take no time to prepare but spend a long time in the oven and smell fantastic while cooking. You can use other vine-ripened varieties if you like - just make sure that they have plenty of flavor."

Slow-roasted Tomatoes on Bruschetta
Source: Viva Italia - The New Flavors of Italy (Maxine Clark/Hamlyn)

4 large vine-ripened plum tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 ounces salted ricotta or feta cheese, crumbled or cut into slivers
Salt and pepper
Basil leaves, to garnish (optional)
4 thick slices of country bread
2 garlic cloves

Cut the tomatoes in half lengthways. Put them cut-side up on a baking sheet. Mix the garlic and oregano with the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon or brush this mixture over the cut tomatoes and bake them in a preheated oven, 325 degrees, for about two hours, checking every now and then.

The tomatoes should be slightly shrunk but still a brilliant red color. If they are too dark, they will be bitter. Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let cool.

Cut the bruschetta slices so that 2 tomato halves will sit comfortably on each one. (For the bread we bought, one tomato per slice was a better fit.)

Toast or grill the bread on both sides then rub each slice with the bruised garlic and drizzle with olive oil. (We also added some shredded Parmesan cheese.)

Cover the tomatoes with the cheese and top with a basil leaf (optional).

Serve at room temperature. Yield: 4 servings.

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