At the green table: crostini with roasted tomato & herb pesto

crostini with roasted tomato & herb pesto

crostini with roasted tomato & herb pesto

This is a good recipe to use when vine-ripe tomatoes are not available. Roasting the tomatoes will both concentrate and caramelize the flavor of the tomato. But a good ripe fresh tomato would certainly be fantastic, as will olive oil-poached tomatoes or a bit of pesto rosso. You can also substitute fresh mozzarella, a fresh young goat cheese or a marinated goat cheese  for the burrata.

Ingredients

crostini with roasted tomato & herb pesto

crostini with roasted tomato & herb pesto

about 20 crostini using a baguette or ciabatta bread

extra-virgin olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds of small ripe tomatoes, such as campari, plum or roma,

halved lengthwise, cored, and seeds removed

2 pounds of burrata, substitute fresh mozzarella or goat cheese

basil and Italian parsley pesto or substitute your favorite pesto or purchased pesto

Method

Preheat the oven to 450o F. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, on a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush the tomatoes with olive oil and season with the sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast the tomatoes until the skin starts to break and shrivel, but the tomatoes retain their shape, about 25 to 30 minutes, the time will vary with the size of the tomatoes. Remove and serve warm or at room temperature.

The tomatoes can be roasted several hours ahead, cooled completely, then kept covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature. Reheat in a baking dish or pan in a preheated 350o F oven until the tomatoes are heated through, about 10 minutes. Cut the tomatoes to fit on the crostini, if necessary.

crostini with roasted tomato & herb pesto

crostini with roasted tomato & herb pesto

To serve, break the burrata into small pieces that will fit on the crostini. Season with a pinch of sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Add a some pesto on top of the burrata and top with several pieces of roasted tomatoes. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of the tomatoes, perhaps a bit more pesto and serve.