Cooking From Every Angle

Mozzarella and Roasted Cherry Tomato Salad

August 13, 2010 • 47 Comments

Mozzarella and Roasted Cherry Tomato Salad

- Amanda

Last summer I wrote about Penne with Roasted Tomatoes and Corn, a dish I like to make every August. Cherry tomatoes respond well to roasting -- their skins caramelize and sweeten, and their pulp concentrates, so you end up with blistered tomato candy. And if you add enough olive oil to the roasting pan, the tomato juices emulsify with the oil, making for a wildly good dressing.

Sometimes, I roast cherry tomatoes and serve them over sliced fresh mozzarella, a riff on the caprese salad. It makes for a tighter, more acutely flavored version of this classic salad -- more dinner party first course, less lunch out on the deck.

Mozzarella and Roasted Cherry Tomato Salad

Serves 6

  • 2 cups small yellow cherry tomatoes, rinsed
  • 2 cups small red grape or cherry tomatoes, rinsed
  • 4 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Coarse, flaky salt
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Handful small basil leaves (or torn basil leaves)

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the tomatoes on a baking sheet large enough to hold them in a single layer. Add the garlic cloves. Sprinkle over the olive oil and season with salt.

2. Roast the tomatoes until they begin to wrinkle and caramelize, and their juices release into the oil, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

3. Cut the mozzarella into 1/8-inch-thick slices and arrange, overlapping slightly, on a platter. Spoon the tomatoes and -- most importantly -- their juices and the oil, over the mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper. Drop the basil leaves on top. Gaze proudly at the gorgeous dish you've just assembled.

 

Jump to Comments (47)

Comments (47)

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almost 4 years ago bvrlybest

I made this tonight and it was fantastic. I read all the comments before I started. Instead of a pinch of sugar w/ the salt I used some Lemon Verbena sugar (only a pinch) and just a splash of sherry vinegar. I used a wider color variety and it was beautiful. I also want to know how to make my own mozzarella! I bought the tomatoes because my favorite farmer at the FM recommended them and I googled for a recipe.What a great site! I'll be a regular!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Glad it worked out so well -- and delighted that you found food52. We look forward to seeing more of you!

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almost 4 years ago bella s.f.


When tomatoes are really good, I tend to be a purist. I roast the small ones that look like baby Romas, low and long, with just some Kosher salt and some good olive oil. At the end I add some good balsamic. They get rich and savory, a real depth of flavor. We have tried them with different things, eg. goat cheese, roasted peppers, but nothing beats eating them straight out of the glass container. Every bite illicites an "mmmmmm!" Darn, perhaps I should have entered them in a contest!

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almost 4 years ago gustus

OMG this is so good and easy, I can't wait to try it out on guests. The excess juices and oil are great for sopping up slices of baguette.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Good on pasta, too.

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almost 4 years ago Lori Hahn

I LOVED THIS!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Good! Thanks for letting me know.

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almost 4 years ago Josy

This looks insane! yuum. Grocery store tomorrow for sure

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almost 4 years ago cookbookchick

Add mine to the list of raves for this dish! I made it with a splash of sherry vinegar (thanks, katekirk!), and sliced cooked chicken for a complete light supper, and my husband is still talking about how much he loved it three days later!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Great to hear it.

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almost 4 years ago mpalmer

I made this last night with cherry tomatoes from my garden and it was so delicious, I almost wept. It was so beautiful, I took a picture. It's the kind of dish that makes you happy to be alive. I'm sorry. I am gushing. THANK YOU for posting this recipe!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Love that you almost wept! My day is complete. :)

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almost 4 years ago Winnerjse

I made this using burratta and it was fantastic! Used multi colored heirloom cherry tomatoes and it was both gorgeous and delicious. This will become a summer staple, thanks!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Nice change-up. Love burrata.

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almost 4 years ago Kiss My Braciola Goodbye

I love roasted tomatoes, especially the cherry tomatoes or the Campari tomatoes. However, I find roasting the garlic along with the tomatoes takes away from the true flavor and sweetness of the tomatoes. I love to add a bit of fresh minced rosemary to the tray. It enhances the tomatoes and adds another level to the true tomato flavor.
Everyone's tastes are different...tis the season to roast away and freeze for another day!!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I don't disagree -- the garlic is kind of superfluous.

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almost 4 years ago randipie

I made this on Saturday for some friends (along with a grilled chicken sandwich with pesto aioli). I always add a little drizzle of a good balsamic vinegar to my caprese salads and it blended nicely with the "candied" tomato flavor. The leftovers were even better the next day. The cheese had been marinated in the tomato/olive oil/S+P/balsamic and was delicious. Thanks!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Yes, the juices do get better. Great on pasta.

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almost 4 years ago Sylvie

I love this but if it's more than 90 degrees outside, I can't cope with my oven. So I cut the tomatoes in half, sprinkle a bit of sugar on them too and sear them for 5 min. with olive oil, on a high flame. Let them cool in the pan, add a drop of balsamic vinegar and a bit of basil. Yummy and perhaps a bit easier in the height of a heat wave. Opinion?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

You could also grill them (slowly).

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almost 4 years ago Paulie

This idea arrived just in time. I was preparing a caprese salad for my sons birthday but our tomatoes weren't really ready. This was perfect. Honestly, our guests couldn't believe how good it was. I used mozzarella balls instead. Thanks again. This will be placed in our permanent repertoire.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Good to hear.

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almost 4 years ago kitchengardener

I love this idea.
The garden is in overdrive and I had a plethora of these cool stripey paste tomatoes
I just roasted. Once I make the mozzarella from curds I got at the cheese makers,it will be a perfect eat local dish!And I second a little sherry vinegar to add a little acidity ....

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Hope you'll upload the recipe for homemade mozzarella....

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almost 4 years ago Victoria Carr

I got an email with this recipe today, stuck whole wheat bread from Bread Alone in the toaster, ran out to the garden to snag some ripe tomatoes, and faithfully reproduced your sandwich.

THANK YOU.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Funny -- I worked at Bread Alone years ago.

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almost 4 years ago sshumans

I made this last night for a dinner party as the appetizer and it was delicious. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

That's cool -- fun to write about something and learn that someone actually made it! Thanks for letting me know.

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almost 4 years ago lapadia

Sounds so good and looks mouth-watering. I have used fresh tomatoes, slow roasted plum tomatoes...but not cherry, is on my list of things to do! Thanks!

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almost 4 years ago WinnieAb

I just made a huge batch of slow roasted tomatoes with a combination of homegrown San Marzanos and cherry tomatoes...I'll eat them any which way and this sounds just perfect.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

You're the first person I know who grows San Marzanos -- what do they taste like fresh?

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almost 4 years ago KelseyTheNaptimeChef

Mmm, this looks amazing. I like to do caprese with my slow-roasted tomatoes, so summery. And speaking of your Penne recipe, I just made it last week!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks -- glad that recipe has lived on.

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almost 4 years ago katekirk

When I enjoy my little candies (perfect description), I swirl a splash of nice sherry or other good red wine vinegar into them with the oil/S&P. Just a little.

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almost 4 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Sherry vinegar . . . great idea. ;o)

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Agree with AJ -- great complement to tomatoes.

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almost 4 years ago J-Dizzle

Mmmm, this recipes sounds delicious (and so simple!) - at the moment, my cherry and grape tomatoes are in abundance! What a yummy way to use them up! Thanks for sharing! :o)

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Thanks.

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almost 4 years ago wednesdaychef

This is so brilliant. How is that I want to cook/eat everything you write about??

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Nice to hear it -- thanks.

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almost 4 years ago MrsWheelbarrow

Cathy is a trusted source on Pickling/Preserving.

I roast cherry tomatoes every Saturday morning after the farmers market as much for the way they make the kitchen smell as the "candy" produced. Never thought to do a caprese type salad - thanks for the great idea. I usually toss the tomatoes with herbs de provence and then, once roasted, layer them on sandwiches or serve alongside scrambled eggs, that is, when I'm not eating them one after the other!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Just this morning at a cafe I had scrambled eggs with tomato, but it was a soppy, timidly roasted large tomato. Have never thought to pair the roasted cherry tomatoes with eggs. We've officially traded ideas -- thanks.

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almost 4 years ago dymnyno

I keep a container of these little candies in my fridge as long as I can get local fresh tomatoes. They really add a burst of sweet tang to salads and are great on grilled meats. I sprinkle a teeny bit of sugar with the salt.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Grilled meats -- great thinking. And will try the sugar detail.

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almost 4 years ago lastnightsdinner

I am regretting the fact that I passed on a basket of tiny tomatoes at the farmers' market yesterday. I'll have to remedy that tomorrow :)

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almost 4 years ago Lizthechef

Our market is Friday afternoon, lnd, so I will make some of this delicious salad for us both!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 4 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I'm picking up more tomorrow, too!