Roasted Tomato Caprese
Roasted Tomato Caprese- Cherry tomatoes are roasted until sweet and jammy then topped with creamy burrata and basil chive vinaigrette.
March 15, 2021 by Nicole Collins
Spring is in the air, folks!
We are officially 1 week away from spring solstice!
Thank freaking goodness.
We had a couple abnormally warm days last week, and I soaked up every last minute of it. I moved my workstation outside for a few hours each day. I started walking again with the puppy. And, I even got my seeds planted for this year's herb garden.
P.S. If everyone could say a quick prayer that I can grow AND keep an herb garden alive again this year, that would be great.
For as fast as the weather showed the first hint of warmth, I've quickly transitioned into “summer” eating mode. And, that means all the herbs, all the colors, and all the bright freshness. And if you remember that basil chive vinaigrette that we made on repeat last summer, it's time for it to make its debut for the year.
Today, we're invoking all the best parts of summer in a dish that's still perfect for those cooler temps that are hanging on.
So today, we're making Roasted Tomato Caprese!
Guys...this caprese. I almost only want it this way from now on! We're going to roast tomatoes until they're sweet and jammy. Then, we'll top them with creamy burrata and a drizzle of my infamous basil chive vinaigrette. Then, we're going to break out the baguette for the ultimate dipping situation.
Let's start with the tomatoes. We're keeping things sooooo simple and basic when it comes to these tomatoes. But, the mounds of flavor that we get from simply slow roasting these little babes is out of this world!
To start, we need about two pints of small tomatoes. I chose to use a mix of cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes, but you can use all of one or the other. I like cherry tomatoes, because they're naturally a little sweeter and juicier than grape tomatoes. But, I like grape tomatoes to add a little difference in texture and shape while also having the option of using different colors like yellow or orange heirloom grape tomatoes. Whichever combo you choose, we're going to season the tomatoes with a simple mix of olive oil, lots of minced garlic, salt, pepper, and a hint of brown sugar. The brown sugar really helps to accentuate the natural sweetness of the tomatoes, and I really think that's the game changer in this recipe. Once our tomatoes are seasoned, to the oven they go to roast for about a half hour.
While the tomatoes are roasting, we can make our basil chive vinaigrette. We made this over and over last summer, and the recipe hasn't changed. So, we need some fresh basil, fresh chives, a little garlic, some olive oil, vinegar, and good ol' salt and pepper. Toss everything in a blender, hit the button, and our herby drizzle is ready!
Now, the vinaigrette recipe makes WAY more than we need for this caprese. But, you have some options here. You could A. put it on everything like I do. It's great on eggs. It's great on veggies. You could use it as a salad dressing. Or, you could make caprese salads on repeat. If you choose option B. you can freeze it. Pour leftovers into silicone ice cub molds, pop it in the freezer, and you can have a fresh, herbaceous sauce any time of year. (← I had such a plentiful basil harvest last summer, my freezer is loaded with this sauce!) Now there's always option C. cut all the ingredients in half, and make a smaller batch of sauce. But, what fun is that???
Once the tomatoes are finished roasting, we're basically finished. Slide them into a serving bowl, top them with some creamy burrata that's been torn into gooey little pieces, give the whole thing a drizzle of as much basil chive vinaigrette as your heart desires, then finish the whole thing with a pinch of flaky sea salt. Grab some crusty bread to serve alongside our caprese, and it's time to dig in.
This caprese...wow. It's not really a salad. It actually becomes more like a dip with those jammy tomatoes. But, it's everything you could want out of the perfect bite. The tomatoes are soft and lightly caramelized. They're the absolute perfect blend of sweet and savory. The burrata is cool and creamy giving a nice contrast to the warm tomatoes underneath. And, that basil drizzle on top adds the perfect pop of herby freshness to tie the whole thing together.
It's absolutely heavenly. And, it's the perfect reminder that summer is so close, we can literally taste it.
Insert sigh of happiness here-->
Ok, everyone! Are you guys ready to shift out of comfort food mode too? Because, I think it's time.
I hope you enjoy! And, let's eat!
Roasted Tomato Caprese
Serves: 4 Print
For the Basil Chive Vinaigrette:
1 cup basil, packed
1 heaping tbsp chives, chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 small clove garlic, smashed
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
For the Caprese:
4 cups (2 pints) cherry and/or grape tomatoes, halved
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 ball burrata, torn
flaky sea salt, to taste
toasted baguette, to serve
Roast the Tomatoes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, brown sugar, salt, and pepper to a mixing bowl. Toss well to coat the tomatoes. Pour the mix onto a sheet pan, and arrange tomatoes in a single layer. Roast for 25-30 mins until the tomatoes have softened and started to lightly caramelize.
Meanwhile, make the Basil Chive Vinaigrette: To a small food processor or blender, add basil, chives, vinegar, garlic, olive oil, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Process until smooth. Set aside.
Assemble the Caprese: Transfer roasted tomatoes and their juices to a serving bowl. Top with torn pieces of burrata. Season burrata with a pinch of flaky sea salt. Drizzle desired amount of basil chive vinaigrette over the tomatoes and cheese. Serve with toasted baguette. Enjoy!
*I like to use a mix of cherry and grape tomatoes for this, because I like the difference in shapes and sizes. You can use one, the other, or a combination of both like me!
*Burrata cheese is a variation of mozzarella that's creamy and gooey on the inside. If you can't find burrata, fresh mozzarella can be used in a pinch.
*You will have plenty basil chive vinaigrette leftover. It's delicious on lots of things! Use it to dress a salad. Drizzle some over some scrambled eggs. Or, freeze some of it in large silicone ice cube trays to save for later. It thaws perfectly, so you can have a fresh, herbaceous sauce at any time! If you don't want leftover sauce, you could also halve the vinaigrette recipe.
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