The downside of being self-employed is that there aren’t any office holiday parties to go to. Not that I went to my office party last year… I had gone the year before and was bored out of my mind. To be fair, most of the people who I worked with were much older than I was, so I only had a couple of friends there that I could chat with. The food didn’t impress me either. There were some generic spring rolls, a few chicken satay skewers and trays of sickeningly sweet desserts. The food at convention centres can be truly awful sometimes.
Generally speaking, I love appetizers. It’s more fun to nibble on a variety of flavourful bites than it is to sit and eat a formal dinner. I usually go for one-bite treats like meatballs or little phyllo pastries, but I also love a good crostini!
This roasted tomato crostini recipe took a while for me to put together. I knew that I wanted tomatoes, feta and oregano, but I couldn’t figure out what to spread on the toast. Cream cheese seemed too heavy and olive oil wasn’t heavy enough. After puttering around my kitchen for a while, I eventually found a neglected bottle of black olive tapenade. Perfect!
The stars of these crostini are Caramelized Plum Tomatoes, which are not my invention. The recipe for the tomatoes comes from one of my favourite cookbooks: Fast, Fresh & Green by Susie Middleton. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you might recognize that name. I shared Susie’s Vanilla & Cardamom Glazed Acorn Squash recipe last year (with permission), and I’ve reviewed her newest cookbook too.
Susie has graciously allowed me to share one of her recipes again, and I know that you won’t be disappointed. If you love these tomatoes, you will love her other recipes too. Please check out her line of books!
- 20 slices of baguette, cut on an angle, ½ inch thick
- ¼ cup of olive oil*
- salt & pepper, to taste
- ½ cup black olive tapenade
- 20 caramelized plum tomato halves (see recipe below)
- ¼ cup marinated feta, crumbled
- 1 tbsp oregano
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Brush the baguette slice with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 5 minutes, or until toasted.
- Remove the toasts from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Top the toasts with about 1 tsp of tapenade (you don't have to be exact), 1 tomato half, some crumbled feta and a pinch of oregano.
- Serve immediately, or the crostini will become soggy.
TIP: Make sure to tip the oil out of the tomatoes before putting them on the crostini, or you will leave your guests with a greasy mess!
- 10 plum tomatoes
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (4 to 6 sprigs)
- balsamic vinegar
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced crosswise into 10 to 12 slices each
- Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
- Line a large heavy-duty rimmed sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper. (I like to cover the sheet pan with aluminum foil, first, for easier clean up, but it’s not necessary.)
- Cut each tomato in half length wise, and, leaving in the core, scrape out the seeds and ribs with a tomato shark or a serrated spoon.
- Brush 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over the parchment.
- Arrange the tomato halves, cut side up, on the parchment.
- Season the cavity of each tomato half with a pinch of salt, a good pinch of sugar, and some of the thyme leaves. Drizzle a few drops of balsamic vinegar inside each tomato half. (An easy way to do this is to pour some vinegar into a small bowl and use a ⅛ tsp measure to distribute it. Or just hold your thumb over the vinegar bottle opening to dispense drops!)
- Drop a slice or two of garlic in each half , and pour 1 teaspoon of the olive oil into each half. It will look like a lot of olive; that’s okay.
- Roast the tomatoes until they collapse and are brown around the edges, the garlic is browned, and the juices are somewhat caramelized on the sheet pan, 30 to 40 minutes. (At this temperature, you can roast them up to about 55 minutes before the bottoms get too dark. Some of the really hefty—and underripe—plum tomatoes may want to go this long to be tastiest.)
- Let the tomatoes cool for a few minutes on the sheet pan. Carefully transfer them to a serving plate. (If the juices are very caramelized, the tomatoes may stick a bit; take care not to rip the skin.)
- Serve warm or at room temperature. They will also keep in the fridge for about a week.
This recipe is from the Fast, Fresh & Green cookbook, which is published by Chronicle Books.
The recipe for Caramelized Plum Tomatoes in an Olive Oil Bath has been republished on this blog with permission from the author, Susie Middleton.
This is not a sponsored post, however, this post does contain Amazon affiliate links.