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Mozzarella and Roasted Cherry Tomato Salad

August 13, 2010

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.

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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.


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bvrlybest September 3, 2010
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!
Amanda H. September 3, 2010
Glad it worked out so well -- and delighted that you found food52. We look forward to seeing more of you!
bella S. August 30, 2010

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!
gustus August 23, 2010
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.
Amanda H. September 3, 2010
Good on pasta, too.
Lori H. August 23, 2010
Amanda H. August 23, 2010
Good! Thanks for letting me know.
Josy August 17, 2010
This looks insane! yuum. Grocery store tomorrow for sure
mpalmer August 17, 2010
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!
Amanda H. August 23, 2010
Love that you almost wept! My day is complete. :)
Winnerjse August 17, 2010
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!
Amanda H. August 23, 2010
Nice change-up. Love burrata.
Kiss M. August 16, 2010
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!!
Amanda H. August 23, 2010
I don't disagree -- the garlic is kind of superfluous.
randipie August 16, 2010
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!
Amanda H. August 23, 2010
Yes, the juices do get better. Great on pasta.
Sylvie August 16, 2010
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?
Amanda H. August 23, 2010
You could also grill them (slowly).
Paulie August 15, 2010
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.
Amanda H. August 23, 2010
Good to hear.
kitchengardener August 15, 2010
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 ....
Amanda H. August 23, 2010
Hope you'll upload the recipe for homemade mozzarella....
Victoria C. August 15, 2010
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.

Amanda H. August 23, 2010
Funny -- I worked at Bread Alone years ago.
sshumans August 15, 2010
I made this last night for a dinner party as the appetizer and it was delicious. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!
Amanda H. August 15, 2010
That's cool -- fun to write about something and learn that someone actually made it! Thanks for letting me know.
lapadia August 14, 2010
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!
WinnieAb August 13, 2010
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.
Amanda H. August 13, 2010
You're the first person I know who grows San Marzanos -- what do they taste like fresh?
Kelsey B. August 13, 2010
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!
Amanda H. August 13, 2010
Thanks -- glad that recipe has lived on.
katekirk August 13, 2010
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.
AntoniaJames August 13, 2010
Sherry vinegar . . . great idea. ;o)
Amanda H. August 13, 2010
Agree with AJ -- great complement to tomatoes.
J-Dizzle August 13, 2010
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)
Amanda H. August 13, 2010
Luisa W. August 13, 2010
This is so brilliant. How is that I want to cook/eat everything you write about??
Amanda H. August 13, 2010
Nice to hear it -- thanks.