Thursday, October 28, 2010

Cheesy Roasted Tomato Bread

I think we’re past the point in our relationship where I need to reiterate my love for roasted tomatoes yet again. I think you all know by now how smitten I am with them. A while ago, shortly after I tasted them on my new favorite panini, I started thinking about how delicious they would be piled up on garlic bread and smothered with cheese. And so, this recipe was born.

This is a delicious alternative to basic garlic bread, and it offers the perfect balance of textures and flavors. The bread is so crispy, the tomatoes are so soft, the cheesy is so gooey, and the sweetness of little cherry tomatoes pairs so nicely with the garlicky flavor. After his first bite, Joe told me, “You need to blog about this as soon as possible. You can’t keep this from the world any longer.” Well, I didn’t blog about it right away, but I’m sharing it with you now, and that’s all that matters, right?

Not only is this so quick and easy, it’s also endlessly adaptable. It would be delicious with sautéed mushrooms and onions, or with roasted peppers. Smoked cheese -- or any type of cheese, really -- would be delicious. Try using a fresh herb like basil or parsley to brighten it up. Play around with the method and flavors to suit your tastes. I think you’ll love this recipe!

Cheesy Roasted Tomato Bread

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3 bolillo or sweet Italian rolls, split in half (6 pieces total)
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Freshly grated parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, toss the tomatoes with the balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Roast, stirring frequently, 10 to 12 minutes or until tomatoes begin to burst.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1/4 cup olive oil, smashed garlic cloves, and Italian seasoning in a small skillet over low heat. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the oil has fully absorbed the garlic flavor. Discard garlic cloves.

3. Brush each piece of bread with garlic-flavored olive oil. Broil until nearly crisp.

4. Top bread with roasted tomatoes and a sprinkle of cheeses. Return to oven and broil a couple of minutes more, just until cheese is melted. Serve.



Keri said...

Oh my gosh, I need this now!! I love roasted tomatoes, too, and can't think of anything better than pairing them with cheese:-)!

Holly said...

YUM,yum,yummmmmmy looking and sounding:)

Deborah said...

Now I'm cursing the frost that came in and took away my tomato plants! This looks so good!

Monica H said...

I'm with you on the roasted tomato kick- they're just so good. I like to throw some garlic cloves in there too!