My hubby said, “This winter caprese is one of the best things you have ever made”. “It is restaurant quality!” He says that often, but this time…I agree.
Today in Malibu, it is raining. We are lounging in the house, which doesn’t happen often. Deciding to make a little appetizer with ingredients already on hand, I settle on a caprese with roasted tomatoes.
First, I started with roasting the tomatoes, vines still intact, in the oven, nicely adding heat to the family room, where my stepdaughter, her boyfriend, and my hubby sat watching TV. Secondly, I quickly whipped up the fragrant pesto, using fresh basil, garlic, parmesan, pine nuts, and olive oil in a food processor. Finally, I grilled some French bread, lightly brushed with olive oil, on a stovetop grill.
With the piping hot tomatoes, pesto sauce, and slightly melting burrata cheese, topped on warm grilled toast, turned out to be the perfect treat on our lazy wintery day.
- 1 pound medium tomatoes with vines intact
- 1 tablespoon good-quality olive oil, plus extra for garnish
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound burrata
- Pesto sauce
- Grilled French Bread slices (optional)
- Carefully wash and dry tomatoes leaving vines intact.
- Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the tomatoes with vines intact on a baking sheet. Brush with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast 45 minutes, until the skins begin to shrivel like a raisin but the tomatoes remain plump.
- Cut French Bread into ¼ inch slices. Brush both sides with olive oil and grill 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until grill marks are present.
- Either on 1 large plate or 4 individual plates, divide the cheese evenly and place it cut side up onto plate(s). Spoon some pesto sauce over each portion. Using a spatula, remove tomatoes from baking sheet and gently place on top of the pesto and burrata. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil, a sprinkling of salt, and serve immediately as is or with grilled French Bread slices.
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup extra-virgin cold pressed olive oil
- ¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Spread pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool.
- In a food processor, add toasted pine nuts, garlic cloves, basil, and salt. Pulse a few times. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and add the Parmigiano-Reggiano, mixing well to incorporate.
- You can store pesto in a jar topped with a little olive oil, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze for 3 months.