Slow-roasting cherry tomatoes brings out such sweet, intense flavor. Mixed with tons of roasted garlic and fresh basil, then spooned over garlicky golden toasts, this bruschetta is familiar yet special.
For the tomatoes:
3pintscherry tomatoescut in half
1head garliccloves separated but skin stays on
3tablespoonsextra virgin olive oildivided
1/4teaspoonkosher salt + more to taste
1/8teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper + more to taste
For the toasts:
1French bread baguettecut into 1/2-inch slices (for about 36 pieces)
2 to 3garlic clovespeeled 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.