Do you ever secretly (or not so secretly) want to bring THE dish to a potluck? The one everyone gushes about, eyes widened, fervent recipe requests follow? I admit it – when I go to the effort to make something from scratch, I kinda do. But this Slow-Roasted Tomato & Garlic Bruschetta took me by surprise.
I made it on a whim on a meandering afternoon this past March and brought it to a potluck event that evening. I wasn’t sure how it would go over – the typical tomato bruschetta usually boasts fresh cubed tomatoes, not roasted cherry tomatoes like we’ve got here.
But – victory! – everyone raved. It was a winner!
So, first of all, have you ever slow-roasted tomatoes? If not, don’t even worry about this bruschetta. Step away from the computer or phone this second and please for the love of all that is holy, go slow-roast some.
They’re incredible, right?
Slow roasting tomatoes – basically, tossing them in olive oil, dusting with a bit of salt and pepper, and baking them at a low temperature for an hour or two – makes them unbelievable. You get almost all of the concentrated flavor of sun-dried tomatoes. But without the sun. And without the drying.
Even a batch of mostly flavorless cherry tomatoes found in the produce aisle in the dark of winter can be brought to life by slow-roasting.
So I thought that maybe, just maybe, giving some cherry tomatoes the same treatment would make for an excellent bruschetta.
I admit, I also wanted to work roasted garlic into the mix somehow. So a whole head of the mellow, buttery stuff goes into it too.
Your next potluck hit, my friends, right here!
Slow-Roasted Tomato & Garlic Bruschetta
For the tomatoes:
- 3 pints cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
- 1 head garlic (cloves separated but skin stays on)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt + more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper + more to taste
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup basil leaves (chiffonaded)
For the toasts:
- 1 French bread baguette (cut into 1/2-inch slices (for about 36 pieces))
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves (peeled and halved)
- Make the tomato topping. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Tumble the tomatoes onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Toss in the garlic. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Stir until well-coated. Bake until tomatoes have shrunken a bit and look almost dry around the edges, about 90 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool. Remove garlic from the pan. Squeeze cloves out onto a cutting board. Chop up the garlic (as much as you can; it will be soft). Add to a medium bowl.
- Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes still on the cookie sheet. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, scrape up and stir the tomatoes, using the vinegar to help loosen up some of the dried-on tomato juices. Scrape tomatoes and juice into the bowl. Stir in basil and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Set aside.
- Make the toasts. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush a large cookie sheet with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and lay the slices of bread on the sheet. Brush the tops of each slice with olive oil. Bake until golden brown around the edges, 7-9 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Rub each piece on both sides with cut sides of garlic.
- Serve. Spoon the tomatoes over the bread to serve, or set the bread and tomatoes on the appetizer table for guests to assemble themselves.