I absolutely love tomatoes! But fresh tomatoes are best during the summer months when they're at their sweetest. However, I discovered that if you slow-roast the tomatoes, it will concentrate the flavour and they will have full, rich summer tomato flavour. They became slightly caramelised and utterly delicious.
The inspiration for this bruschetta, obviously comes from Insalata Caprese, a simple salad that celebrates Italy's tricolore flag, made of white buffalo mozzarella, red tomatoes and green basil leaves. Obviously there is nothing wrong with a salad, but I do want some carbohydrates and this salad is just perfect on top of a crusty bread when you want a simple and light but hearty lunch/supper.
The one thing that is slightly different to this Caprese salad is in addition to fresh basil leaves, I also added some fresh tarragon and I hope I have not upset anyone here. I must tell you, the distinctive licorice and anise flavour of fresh tarragon is so delicious with the velvety, milky mozzarella, fragrant basil and sweet, sweet tomatoes. Yum.
This roasted tomato Caprese bruschetta is my entry for a taste of tomatoes competition at lovethegarden.com.
Roasted Tomato Caprese Bruschetta
2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil
a pinch of sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 ball of buffalo mozzarella
fresh basil leaves, julienned
fresh tarragon leaves, roughly chopped
2 slices of crusty bread
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 120 C.
Halved the tomatoes lengthwise and de-seed them. When I do this, because I don't like to waste food, I put the seeds in a small bowl and eat it later with a pinch of sugar. My mother used to give me this when I was little. But anyway, arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer; and season with salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar and drizzle with the garlic infused olive oil. And the reason I use garlic infused oil, not fresh garlic is because I don't want the garlic to burn and turn bitter. Roast for an hour and a half until the tomatoes are concentrated and begin to caramelise. Some dark edges are desirable. Allow the tomatoes to cool to room temperature.
Cut the mozzarella into thin slices. If the slices of the mozzarella are larger than the tomatoes, cut the mozzarella slices in half. Grill/toast 2 slices of crusty bread. Layer the tomatoes alternatively with the mozzarella on top of the bread and scatter with the fresh basil and tarragon. Sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper and drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil.