This is a multi-purpose amazing hardly a recipe: perfect when the summer heirloom cherry tomatoes are king but equally wonderful with the less than welcoming mass-produced winter cherries. Bonus: leftover tomatoes keep for a good while (with a layer of olive oil) and are terrific additions to enrich sauces or punch up a dish or even just on pasta all by themselves.... —Canned
What You'll Need
cherry tomatoes, halved
garlic cloves, halved if large (green germ removed)
dried red chile de arbol, crumbled (or fresh jalepeno or hot red pepper)
baguette, thinly sliced - toasted or not
Ricotta with Lemon
fresh ricotta - it pays to get it from a pork store, local cheesemaker or Italian deli
lemon, juiced and zested
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
best qualily olive oil
basil, roughly chopped only if in season
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine halved tomatoes, garlic, fennel seed , chile and olive oil in a gratin or baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Mix the ricotta, lemon juice and zest in a shallow serving bowl. Season the ricotta with salt and pepper to taste and drizzle the top with the good quality olive oil. If seasonal, sprinkle with chopped basil.
Toast the baguette slices under the broiler, watching carefully. Honestly, not toasting the bread is fine and certainly eliminates an annoying step. Put toasted or untoasted baguette slices in a bowl or on a serving platter.
Remove the tomatoes from the oven and serve warm in the gratin or baking dish, accompanied by the ricotta and bread (and two spoons). Let your guests dig in.....