Roast Tomato Bruschetta

Roast Tomato Bruschetta

Roast Tomato Bruschetta

It’s a fact that the majority of foods that we love and that I prepare here at home make their way to the pages of this blog.  However, there are some recipes that I make over and over again and somehow never think to share them with you.  Usually that’s because they are so simple, I don’t view them as a “recipe’, but they are non-the-less-good in spite of it.

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A few weeks ago I shared a picture on Facebook of an appetizer that I was making to bring to a family picnic,  and almost instantly I was getting questions about what it was, and requests for the recipe.   All it consisted of was roast tomatoes, coarsely chopped then mixed with some diced shallots, olive oil, and chopped basil.   Spread this mixture on some  toasted whole-wheat baguette slices, and you have yourself  one delicious appetizer, an accompaniment to a salad, or a little extra something to round out a meal.

I make this using whatever kind of tomatoes I have in abundance, but my favorite is to use small heirloom varieties.  I like the mixture of colors.  The tomatoes can be roasted in the oven on a cookie sheet, or on the grill if you already have it heated up.  One quick way to do this on the grill is to thread the tomatoes on skewers (6-8/skewer) and lay them on the grill, turning every 2 – 3 minutes until the tomatoes start to crack and begin to look charred.  Then bring them into the kitchen, chop them up, add the remaining ingredients, and its done!

ROAST TOMATO BRUSCHETTA

Yield:   Make about 2 cups

I get the dressing ready before roasting the tomatoes.

I get the dressing ready before roasting the tomatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, or any variety of tomatoes you desire
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 small shallot, chopped  (or finely minced red onion)
  • 1 whole wheat French bread baguette, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, halved

Directions:

1.   Preheat oven to 375*F.   or heat grill to medium-high heat.

2.  Thread tomatoes evenly on 4 skewers;  lay on a cookie sheet and brush all over with 2 teaspoon olive oil.  If using grill, brush tomatoes with oil and lay on grill .   Turn the skewers several times for even roasting, and when the tomatoes start to crack and look charred ( about 5 minutes on the grill) remove from heat.

Roasting the tomatoes on skewers.

Roasting the tomatoes on skewers.

3.  Remove tomatoes from skewers; chop coarsely.  Place tomatoes, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, basil, and shallot in a small bowl, stirring to combine.

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4.  Brush bread slices evenly with some olive oil,  Grill for about 30 seconds on each side or until toasted.

Toasting the bread.

Toasting the bread.

Rub cut sides of garlic over one side of bread slices, top evenly with tomato mixture.

Once you try this, you will want it with every meal. 🙂

 

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SOURCE:  Carolyn’s Creations

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Caprese Salad Kebabs

Caprese Salad Kebabs

Caprese Salad Kebabs

An appetizer on a stick,  a salad on a stick;  whatever you choose to call these, they are a pretty neat way to eat a favorite summertime salad.

On July 4th we had a large party for my in-laws who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.  Of the several foods I prepared, these were particularly popular.  We set them out with the appetizers, and before long they were all gone.  All the things you like about a caprese salad are here in miniature form, on a stick, and so easy to eat.  Just slide each component to the end of the stick and pop it into your mouth!

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In addition to being easy to eat they were extremely easy to make.  Knowing that I would be making a large number of them I purchased my ingredients at BJ’s Club.  Grape tomatoes, a package of fresh basil, and best of all a container of mozzarella balls in seasoned olive oil.  So all I had to do was thread everything on the skewers and drizzle a little of the olive oil over the top.

Try these at your next get together for a quick and easy appetizer.

CAPRESE SALAD KEBABS

Have all ingredients laid out and ready.

Have all ingredients laid out and ready.

Makes 12   For a larger quantity, adjust amounts accordingly.

Here’s what you need:

  • 12 wooden skewers
  • 24 grape tomatoes
  • 12 balls fresh mozzarella
  • 24 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

What you do:

To make each skewer,  alternately place 2 tomatoes, 1 cheese ball and 2 basil leaves on each skewer.  If mozzarella balls are large, cut in half, and basil leaves may be torn into smaller pieces if they are too large.

Putting it all together like an assembly-line.

Putting it all together like an assembly-line.

Arrange skewers on a serving tray.  Whisk together the oil and vinegar, and drizzle over kebabs before serving.

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Caprese Salad

Caprese salad; one of the simplest, most beautiful and delicious salads I make.  Every summer when tomatoes of all kinds are at their finest, and my pot of basil is full and lush, I scout out the best mozzarella cheese I can find and we have this salad over and over.

The people of the Isle of Capri,  (thus it’s name)  created this tri-color salad, using tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil, the colors of the Italian flag.  We are so lucky they did.  It is so simple to make you really don’t need a recipe, and I expect many of you know how to make it.  But for those of you who have never had it, you might want to try it.   This is how I make it.

This makes enough for a first-course, or side salad for 4.

  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Whisk all of the above together to blend.  Set dressing aside.

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes.  An assortment makes a pretty presentation, such as regular vine-ripened tomatoes, plum tomatoes, red or yellow cherry tomatoes, or heirloom tomatoes of any color.  The ones in my photo are dark skinned heirloom tomatoes, very meaty and sweet.
  • a ball of mozzarella cheese, about 6 ounces, thinly sliced
  • several sprigs of basil, torn into small pieces

Slice the large tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices,  cut smaller tomatoes into wedges, and grape or cherry tomatoes  in half.  Arrange on a platter with the cheese.  Drizzle the dressing over the top.  Sprinkle with the basil and any additional salt and pepper.

 

A loaf of crusty Italian bread is the perfect accompaniment .

 

Homemade Pesto

When we say pesto most of us think of basil as the primary ingredient.  But pesto(s) can be made from a variety of herbs, vegetables and condiments; or combinations there of.  What is needed is a food processor–and chop, chop–you can be enjoying the flavors of summer all year long.  I include the making of pesto in my series on kitchen basics, because it is so easy, and so useful in a great number of ways.

Depending on what flavor you have on hand you can do any of the following with it:  spread it on grilled corn, toss with grilled veggies for extra flavor, spoon over a spreadable cheese and serve with crackers for an appetizer, use in place of sauce on pizza, stir some into eggs for a seasoned omelet, add a spoonful to soup for an extra flavor hit.   See how versatile it is?  I’m sure you can think of other uses, too.

It is so easy to make that I am giving the general directions first, followed by the ingredients list for four (4) different kinds.  Each one makes  about 2 cups of pesto.  I like to divide mine up into 1/2 – 1 cup amounts and store in the freezer, removing a small container of it as needed.  The flavor stays as fresh as the day you made it.

GENERAL DIRECTIONS

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.  Period!  Did I say Easy?   Divide up into small jars or plastic  containers, and use creatively.

BASIL

1.  BASIL PESTO

  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup good quality olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (pignoli)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 Tablespoons cold water
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt.

CILANTRO

2.  CILANTRO PESTO

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

ROSEMARY

3.  OLIVE PESTO

  • 1  7 0z. jar pitted kalamata olives, drained
  • 1  7 oz. jar pimiento-stuffed Spanish olives, drained
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  •  3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

OREGANO

4.  MIXED HERBS PESTO

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, or  1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, or 1  teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (pignoli)
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

SOURCE:   adapted from  Foods, Quick and Easy.