Colorful, flavorful, easy, and can be made ahead! Just a few of the many fine attributes of this appetizer recipe. I first made it when we had a bountiful harvest of small tomatoes – oven roasting them concentrated the flavors, and they kept well in the refrigerator. When we wanted an appetizer, we simply toasted some baguette slices, spread with softened goat cheese and topped with the roasted tomatoes and basil. Try it, you’ll like it!
Tomatoes, washed and dried – I have used Roma and other small tomatoes, sweet cherry or grape, and yellow pear tomatoes. I have not used the large slicing tomatoes* with this – too meaty and juicy. If using Roma or other small tomato, slice the tomatoes about ¼ inch thick and seed as best as possible. If using grape, cheery, yellow pear, etc., slice in half, stem end to bottom.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Garlic – Fresh cloves, peeled and smashed – to your taste
Baguette Bread Slices
Put the tomatoes in a bowl and toss with the garlic and olive oil. Use enough olive oil to coat the tomatoes. Let marinate about 30 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to place the tomatoes in individual layers on baking pans lined with release foil. Bake at 300 degrees for approximately 1-1/2 hours until they have reduced in size, intensified in color, and are maybe even a little caramelized. Let cool. Use immediately on toasted baguette slices* spread with softened goat cheese – top with a fresh basil leaf! Or cover and refrigerate.
*Toast the baguette slices while the oven is hot – lightly brush with extra virgin olive oil and toast for 10 to 20 minutes or until desired “toastiness.”
**Update – an experiment and great results! I just experimented with this technique with a larger tomato. My husband purchased a large bunch of tomatoes on the vine and I could tell we were not going to eat them all before they went bad. So I thought I would roast them and see how they turned out. Turns out, just fine! I used the same technique, trying to remove as many seeds as possible and cut them about 1/4″ thick. Tossed gently in a bowl with smashed garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. I was short on time, so I increased the oven temperature to 350 degrees and roasted them for about an hour, turned and roasted about 15 minutes more. If I do this again on this size tomato, I will use the lower oven temperature and the longer roasting time – as in the original post – 300 degrees for 1-1/2 hours or so. However, they still were delicious and I used them to make a bold presentation with the addition of arugula leaves, whole grain bread, and a few Kalamata olives in the center of the platter. Beautiful!!