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Author Notes: 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
Makes a lot
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon fennel seed
- 3 garlic cloves, halved if large (green germ removed)
- 1 dried red chile de arbol, crumbled (or fresh jalepeno or hot red pepper)
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 baguette, thinly sliced - toasted or not
Ricotta with Lemon
- 2 cups fresh ricotta - it pays to get it from a pork store, local cheesemaker or Italian deli
- 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons best qualily olive oil
- 1/4 cup 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.....
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Appetizer to Share with Friends
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Fresh Tomato Showstopper