Once again, big fluffy flakes of snow were falling on my head yesterday as I walked from my car into Whole Foods. I was then met with the tease of spring when I saw the bins of bright and intensely colored flowers and I found myself craving the warmth, colors and flavors of summer. Somehow, a cold Caprese salad just wouldn’t have tasted right to me on such a cold day, but a warm, roasted tomato Caprese? Perfect.
WARM ROASTED TOMATO CAPRESE SALAD
3 cups assorted cherry and pear tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
1 tablespoon store bought or homemade pesto
2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
16 ounce ball of fresh mozzarella sliced into 8 rounds
Best quality balsamic vinegar for drizzling
Salt & pepper
Basil sprigs for garnish
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Arrange the unpeeled cloves of garlic and tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with a sprinkle of salt and black pepper. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour until the tomatoes are slightly wilted but still juicy. Remove from oven.
Squeeze the garlic out from its skin and then chop it into a fine mince. Toss the garlic with the tomatoes and then return to the oven to keep warm.
Mix the pesto with the 1/2 cup olive oil in a small bowl.
Arrange a couple of slices of the mozzarella on 4 oven proof plates and place under a broiler just until the cheese is warmed through and begins to soften but not melt. Remove from the oven, drizzle some of the pesto oil around the cheese and then arrange a quarter of the tomatoes to one side of each plate. Salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with a few basil leaves and a drizzle of a very good balsamic vinegar.
Serve with crostini, toast or crackers.
Warm Roasted Tomato Caprese by Eva Marie