Roasted Tomato-Basil Caprese

By • June 21, 2011 • 30 Comments



Author Notes: A good Caprese deserves nothing less than the best that summer can offer up. Cheerful little cherry tomatoes are perfect for it. In order to deepen their flavor concentration, we roasted them whole with some torn basil leaves, several cloves of smashed garlic, a couple of generous glugs of good olive oil, and some simple seasonings. Once cooled, in went cubes of fresh buffalo mozzarella. We served it over a nest of fresh basil leaves and scooped it up with grilled focaccia. Toast an August evening with a bright, crisp Riesling.

The Caprese travels well with others, and only gets better the longer its flavors blend.

Cheers!
boulangere

Serves 6

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, mixed colors if possible
  • 12 garlic cloves smashed, peels removed
  • 15-20 fresh basil leaves, torn in half if large
  • 2 to 3 ounces good, fruity olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
  • A few grinds of pepper
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, 1/2" cubes
  • 1 loaf focaccia sliced in long batons 1/4 " wide http://www.food52.com/recipes/12903_focaccia
  • Olive oil for focaccia, if necessary
  • Lots of fresh basil leaves as a bed for the Caprese
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse tomatoes and drain them. Leave whole and toss them into a shallow casserole dish. Add the smashed garlic cloves and basil leaves. Pour in the olive oil and add the seasonings. Stir to coat everything with olive oil. Place in oven uncovered. Roast until tomatoes, garlic, and basil are all nicely caramelized, and the tomato juices have reduced to almost a syrupy consistency, probably a good 30-40 minutes. While roasting, stir now and then. Meanwhile, drain the mozzarella balls if necessary, and cut them into 1/2" cubes.
  3. When done, remove tomato mixture from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Don't be afraid to stick the baking sheet into the fridge to move things along. Add the mozzarella cubes and stir to blend everything beautifully together. Let flavors blend while you slice and grill the focaccia.
  4. I make my own focaccia (http://www.food52.com/recipes/12903_focaccia), so I know it has plenty of olive oil both in and on it. If you're using one you've purchased, you may want to brush the cut sides with olive oil before you grill it. It's easier to handle long strips of it than shorter pieces during the grilling phase. You can certainly use the oven broiler to toast it, but it's so much better done over a barbecue, or even a campfire. Grill or toast both sides to a deep golden brown and good crispness - you don't want it going soggy under that heavenly Caprese. When done, break into pieces about 3" long.
  5. Arrange a comfortable bed of fresh basil leaves in the center of a serving platter. Pour Caprese out onto it. Arrange pieces of grilled focaccia around the edge. Pour glasses of your favorite wine and toast to good summer food.
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Tags: basil, caprese, mozzarella, picnic, roasted tomatoes

Comments (30) Questions (0)

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almost 3 years ago gingerroot

I love caprese salad...I know I would love your roasted version even more!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

The basil and tomatoes and garlic all roasted together are my new crack.

Fb

almost 3 years ago BlueKaleRoad

YUM, love that you roasted the tomatoes.

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Bring on the deep flavors!

Me

almost 3 years ago wssmom

How did I miss this??!!! Absolutely FABULOUS!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

LOL! Thanks!

Img_7818

almost 3 years ago EmilyC

Simply beautiful!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Simple indeed. Thank you!

Lorigoldsby

almost 3 years ago lorigoldsby

PS...agree w/ sdebrango...please post your focaccia recipe. You'll make a baker out of me yet!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

That's the idea, you know. It's on my page.

3-bizcard

almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I will vouch for the wonderfulness (is that a word?) of the focaccia. It had an Italian chef almost in tears. Its just that good!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You're too much!

3-bizcard

almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

He still talks about it to this day!

Lorigoldsby

almost 3 years ago lorigoldsby

wonderful! i knew you'd have a new twist on the caprese!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Seriously, be generous with the garlic. Its roasts up incredibly sweetly in the tomato juices.

Ozoz_profile

almost 3 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

I love roasted tomatoes and this sounds delicious!!!!!!!! Summer perfect!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Be generous with the garlic!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I can eat a plateful in one sitting.

3-bizcard

almost 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Love this, roasted tomato and mozzarella is heavenly! 1

Dsc_0122.nef-1

about 3 years ago Panfusine

ooooooooooooooooooHHHHH!!!!!!! heaven... I'm in Heaven..
Please do share your recipe for focaccia..

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Promise. This weekend. Thank you for asking.

Dscn3274

about 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Love roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, grilled bread and fresh mozzarella! Fantastic!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

We should eat together more often!

Dscn3274

about 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Yes we should!!

3-bizcard

about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I really want a good recipe, have tried several none hold the muster. Can't wait to try it! Thank you!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Seriously, I've meant to get it posted, but just haven't gotten around to it. It's taken many tweaks to get it just right, but I'm very happy with it now and am happy to pass it on.

3-bizcard

about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thanks so much, BTW, the grand kids were over today loved the brownies. You should have seen their faces, the eyes lit up when they tasted them.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Isn't food fantastic?

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I've been meaning to get it posted, so now I promise I will. Thanks for asking.

3-bizcard

about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Delicious and I HAVE to have your recipe for focaccia. Have tried several and none measure up. This is lovely!