Deconstructed Bruschetta with Honey-Roasted Tomatoes
Deconstructed bruschetta is one of my “easy to make,” yet “quick to impress guests” appetizers. I derived this recipe by adapting some elements from appetizers I had at some of my favorite restaurants. When you pull together the sum of these parts into your personally created custom bruschetta, you will find that you’ve created the perfect bite!
Bruschetta is an Italian antipasto (before the meal) that typically includes grilled bread topped with tomato, vegetables, beans, cured meat or cheese. The most popular form contains fresh tomato, fresh basil, garlic and fresh mozzarella on top of the toasted bread.
A few quick tips before you begin:
- Since the roasted tomatoes will last for 2-3 days in the refrigerator, I usually prepare them a day ahead of when I’m serving the bruschetta. Just be sure to allow the roasted tomatoes to come to room temperature before serving.
- Also, I mix up the ricotta earlier in the day that I’m serving it to allow the flavors to blend together.
1 quart (or 2 pints) grape tomatoes cut in half lengthwise
1 ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. clover honey (lightly spray the measuring spoon with non-stick spray so the honey comes out easily)
1 tsp. thyme leaves (dried or fresh)
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. fresh cracked sea salt
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a large baking sheet pan with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the cut tomatoes, EVOO, honey, thyme, basil, salt and pepper. Mix together so the tomatoes are coated. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the tomatoes out of the bowl (leaving behind the liquid) and lay them onto the prepared baking sheet. Be sure all the tomatoes are cut-side up, before placing into the oven.
Bake the tomatoes for between 1 hour and 15 to 1 hour and 30 minutes. The tomatoes are done when they are shriveled and brown. Allow cooling on the baking sheet before removing.
Toasting the bread:
Slice one French baguette into ¼ inch slices. Lay the on a baking sheet. Using your oven broiler, toast them under a high heat broiler for a few minutes. Keep a watch on them, as they will burn easily. Allow cooling on the baking sheet.
To make the honey, sea salt ricotta, simply mix together a 16 oz. container of ricotta (you can use part-skim but not fat-free) with 1 tbsp. of clover honey and a few cracks of sea salt. Combine and taste. Add more honey and salt to your taste. Refrigerate until serving.
Yields 6-8 (or more) generous servings.
Do you like bruschetta?
How have you ever made bruschetta? If so, what’s your favorite topping?
What’s your “easy to make,” “quick to impress guests” appetizer recipe?