Roasted Cherry Tomato Crostoni with Ricotta
This is a welcome fix for the seasons when local vine ripened tomatoes are unavailable. TheÂ roasted cherry tomatoesÂ from this recipe are easily adaptable to other applications, including salads, pastas, or pizzas. AÂ separateÂ recipe for ricotta follows.
Serves 6 to 12
Roasted Cherry Tomatoes: (Nancy Silverton; Mozza Cookbook)
- 1 pound small ripe cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon crystallized sea salt
- fresh ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 300F/150c Place a wire rack on top of a foil or parchment lined baking sheet
Place the tomatoes in a bowl and drizzle the olive oil over them and season with salt and pepper. TossÂ gently and place the tomatoes on the rack in a single layer and put them in the oven in the middle position and roast for 1Â 1/2 hours. The skins of the tomatoes should have shriveled somewhat, but the tomatoes will have retained their shape.
Remove from the oven and allow cooling on the rack.
- 2Â tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Â onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2Â 3 inch red, green, or yellow chiles, seeds removed and thinly diced
- 3Â cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4Â tablespoons gin or vermouth
- 1/3 cup basic red sauce or chicken stock
- 1Â tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Place the olive oil in a large saute Â pan over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic to flavor the oil, removing them before they color or burn, and set aside to add later. Add the onions and saute Â for 8 to 10 minutes until they are translucent. Then add the reserved sliced garlic and the dicedÂ chiliesÂ and saute Â for 1 minute. Add the gin or vermouth and turn up the heat and reduce until nearly absorbed. Add the red sauce, or chicken stock, and oregano and saute Â until the sauce is reduced and glossy.
Remove from the heat and cool. Once cool, carefully add the roasted cherry tomatoes and toss gently to glaze. Best served at room temperature. Refrigerate for storage.
On hand: fresh homemade ricotta (see Homemade Ricotta Recipe)
Crostoni is a hearty toasted wedge of bread cut on the diagonal, while crostini is a smaller toasted bit size round usually cut from a baguette.
Preheat oven to 325F/160C
The crostoni can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container. I much prefer crostoni, or crostini to crackers and always keep a supply on hand and ready for unexpected guests.
- 1Â large crusty loaf or baguette; traditional, multi-grained, or any other that you prefer
- extra-virgin olive oil for brushing the baguette slices
- peeled garlic cloves for rubbing
- 1 tablespoon crystallized sea salt Â
- 1Â teaspoon ground fennel seedsÂ Â Â Â
- 1Â teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Slice the bread about 1/2 inch on the diagonal, creating wedges,Â and place on baking sheets. Brush eachÂ wedge generously with the extra-virgin olive oil and place the sheets in the oven at 325F/160c for about 12 minutes, but keep an eye on them as you want them to reach a golden color and they can burn quickly!
In the meantime combine the salt, fennel seeds, and pepper and bash them up a bit into a seasoning mix.
Once the bread is well toasted,remove the sheets from the oven and while still hot rub each crostoniÂ with the garlic and then season all with the salt/fennel/pepper mixture and remove from the sheet to a metal rack to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.