My level of productivity has greatly declined during the Olympic games.
I’m not sure why, but I am really into the the 2012 games. I’m over-eager and excited. I’m invested in the stories of the athletes, and carefully choose my heroes. I’m so over Michael Phelps. I adore Gabby Douglas.
Honestly, I feel like a kid again. Back in those days, my sisters and I would huddle in front of the television and cheer on our favorite athletes (the ice skaters and gymnasts, of course). Oh, how we loathed Oksana Baiul! And how we loved Kristy Yamaguchi!
I’m telling you, I’m a nerd about this stuff.
And somewhere in the midst of all this Olympics madness, I’ve carved out a little bit of time to cook. It’s finally tomato season in the Northwest, and thus this recipe was born.
I have a Sun Gold cherry tomato plant in my backyard, and it produces a lot of tomatoes. It’s a crazy little plant and I can hardly keep up with the tomato production. If there was a tomato Olympics, I’m pretty sure my plant would get a medal. (See what I did there? I brought it all back to the Olympics).
So, if you’re in the throes of cherry tomato season and need a good recipe for your arsenal: this one is a gem. It’s simple, elegant, and ridiculously tasty. It’s like a better version of tomato bruschetta (who knew it could get any better?).
As for me, I’m off to watch more of the Olympic games. Go USA!
ROASTED CHERRY TOMATO BRUSCHETTA WITH HONEY & BALSAMIC
Adapted from Cheesy Melty Toasty
Makes 1 cup of roasted tomatoes, enough for 8-10 small appetizers.
1 pint cherry (or grape) tomatoes, halved (I used a mix of sungolds and red grape tomatoes)
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1.5 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
salt & pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh basil
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Place halved cherry tomatoes on a lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
Roast cherry tomatoes in the oven for an hour and a half, or until the tomatoes are brown and caramelized.
While tomatoes are roasting, slice 1/2 of a baguette into thin slices. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet on the stove top. Toast bread slices in the skillet, 3-4 minutes on each side (or until golden and crisp). Set aside.
When the tomatoes are ready, remove from the oven. Remove the roasted tomatoes to a bowl and allow to cool. Once the tomatoes have cooled to room temperature, toss with the rest of the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add in the honey, red chili flakes, minced garlic. Slice the basil into a chiffonade (very thin strips) and toss 1/2 of the basil into the cherry tomato mixture. Taste, and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
Slather each piece of toasted baguette with fresh ricotta cheese. Top with the roasted cherry tomato bruschetta, and garnish with a bit more sliced fresh basil. Feel free to drizzle a little extra honey over the top. Eat and enjoy.
Note: basil bruises easily and turns a sad blackish-brown color after awhile. I like to slice the basil right before serving so it’s bright & green & lovely!