Thursday, September 3, 2009

Roasted Caprese Tomatoes


Caprese salad is such a classic - simple ingredients, quick to prepare and delicious. I recently was flipping through a cooking magazine (I can't recall which magazine) at the store one day and I saw a new way to serve caprese salad. The tomato was sliced almost all the way through and within the cuts of the tomato, slices of mozzarella cheese were inserted. Chopped basil was either sprinkled on top or stuffed into the cuts too... and balsamic vinaigrette was drizzled over the top. It was quite a presentation!

The presentation of caprese salad was the inspiration of the recipe for roasted caprese tomatoes. I didn't have any fresh mozzarella on hand but I did have shredded mozzarella. Not exactly quite the same but it would have to do. Rather than serving the caprese salad fresh as it traditionally is, I opted to roast it instead where the cheese would melt into the cuts of the tomato as it roasts. It served as a great side dish and I thought it presented itself well on the plate too...

Roasted Caprese Tomatoes
original Joelen recipe

4 large tomatoes on the vine
1 cup shredded mozzarella or italian cheese blend
salt & pepper to taste
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup basil leaves for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare your tomatoes by slicing them almost all the way through, but keeping them still intact. In each cut made, sprinkle the cheese. Season the tomatoes with salt & pepper to taste and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.


Remove from the oven and drizzle the balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the tops of the tomatoes. Garnish with chopped basil and serve.