This Summer, oblivious in an innocent state of bliss, I irrefutably built the foundation of a relationship, bordering on obsession, with roasting tomatoes. All shapes, sizes, and varieties- I’ll take them with a wide grin stretched ear to ear, and head for the oven. When slow roasted, their delicate skin bursts and blisters, transforming even the dullest plum tomato into something mind blowing.
After tasting the luscious sweetness from slow roasting them, layering with fresh mozzarella and thinly sliced basil seems like the only option my mind allows me to process when I begin to think about salads.
Fresh thyme, rosemary, oregano, and garlic are all great flavor ideas as well, but can I tell you a really simple little secret? They taste just as crazy town good drizzled with a touch of olive oil, and a dash of salt and pepper. Don’t skimp on the cheese and basil- they are a magical trio of flavors.
Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad– Ina Garten
- 12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeds (not cores) removed
- 1/4 cup good olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 16 ounces fresh salted mozzarella
- 12 fresh basil leaves, julienned
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
Arrange the tomatoes on a sheet pan, cut sides up, in a single layer. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with the garlic, sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 2 hours until the tomatoes are concentrated and begin to caramelize. Allow the tomatoes to cool to room temperature.
Cut the mozzarella into slices slightly less than 1/2-inch thick. If the slices of mozzarella are larger than the tomatoes, cut the mozzarella slices in half. Layer the tomatoes alternately with the mozzarella on a platter and scatter the basil on top. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Serve at room temperature.