One of my foodie friends, Lisa of Authentic Suburban Gourmet, makes some mean crostini. She never seems to run out of topping ideas for these little toasts, sweet or savory or for any occasion.
Imagine my delight when she announced me the winner of her Crostini Challenge, thanks to adorable Max! It was quite a treat to receive a beautiful bruschetta/crostini book for my prize, especially when you have a cookbook obsession like I do. I couldn’t wait to give the book a test run!
Selecting a recipe from the book was very easy; a few pages in I came across a bruschetta showcasing two ingredients that I already had waiting to be enjoyed. My tomato plants were loaded with ripe, bright red jewels and I had a tray of fresh French feta in the fridge. Perfect!
Normally, I save the effort of roasting tomatoes for the store-bought Roma variety. These often flavorless grocery store regulars get an extreme makeover with some oven TLC and turn into super sweet beauties. My cherry tomatoes were already sweet but since I was such a cooking maniac coming home from vacation (and the recipe called for some slow roasting), I thought it wouldn’t hurt.
I was a very happy girl after taking a bite of the assembled bruschetta. The sweet tomatoes, feta cheese and fresh basil were like a bite from heaven on top of the olive oil-drizzled and garlic-rubbed toast. I’m normally very happy with the traditional topping of fresh chopped tomatoes on bruschetta but these were especially tasty.
I did put my own spin on the tomatoes by roasting them with balsamic vinegar, thyme and garlic but I’d say that the feta cheese and basil elevated this to new heights. These were gone in no time! Thanks again, Lisa, for a wonderful prize! I can’t wait to try more recipes from my new book.
Roasted Tomatoes on Bruschetta with Feta Cheese
* Adapted from Bruschetta Crostini and Other Italian Snacks by Maxine Clark
- 8 large ripe plum tomatoes (I used two cups cherry tomatoes)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano (I used fresh thyme)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 oz thinly sliced feta cheese (I used cubed fresh French feta)
- Chiffonade of fresh basil leaves
- Balsamic vinegar, a few tablespoons (my addition)
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the bruschetta:
- 4 thick slices country bread
- 2 garlic cloves
- olive oil
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Cut tomatoes in half (lengthwise for plum tomatoes and crosswise for cherry). Combine the marinade ingredients: garlic, herbs, olive oil, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar. Toss tomatoes in the mixture and spread on a baking sheet. If you’re using plum tomatoes, lay them cut side up on the baking sheet and bake for two hours. If you use cherry tomatoes like I did, 15-20 minutes in the oven will be sufficient. The goal is to warm up the tomatoes and caramelize the balsamic vinegar. When finished, toss the roasted tomatoes with feta, basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
To make the bruschetta, grill or toast the bread on both sides. I used my broiler for this. You just have to watch them closely. Rub the top side of each toast with the the fresh garlic, top with the tomato/feta/basil mixture and drizzle with additional olive oil. Serve immediately.