Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thyme-Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Crostini


Fewer things make me happier these days than spending time in the kitchen.  This evening was especially idealistic - me in the kitchen, music playing, glass of wine, hubby wrapping gifts, fire crackling... and tomatoes slow roasting in the oven.  Yep.  That makes me happy!!  I am one of those girls who could really exist on appetizers if I didn't have a family to be  accountable for.  LOVE something that I can pick up and snack on while doing something else.  Yes... that is dangerous.  I agree.  I saw recently where Ted Allen made some Crostini with Thyme-Roasted Tomato that looked divine.  I thought it would be a great prelude to our dinner this evening... except I am kicking mine up with some creamy, tangy Mediterranean-spiced herbed goat cheese. 

Ingredients:

  • Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise 
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 tsp dried thyme leaves 
  • Mediterranean Herbs and Garlic Goat Cheese
  • 1/2-inch-thick slices of French baguette, cut on the bias

Step-by-Step:

Place the tomatoes cut-side up on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle the halved Roma tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil.

Sprinkle with kosher salt, cracked black pepper, and dried thyme leaves.  Pop them into 300 degree F oven for an hour, then increase the temperature to 400 degrees F for another 30 minutes.
Slice the French baguette in about 1/2 " thick slices, on a bias.

Toast or broil the bread slices in an oven until golden brown.

After the hour and a half of roasting, the tomatoes will have softened and sort of shrank up, releasing some of their juices onto the parchment.  
Spread each crostini with some herbed goat cheese, then the roasted thyme tomatoes.  If you have one on hand, feel free to rub each hot "toast" with a cut garlic clove prior to putting the goat cheese on.
Yes.  It is a super simple dish (appetizer or side dish), but the concentrated flavors of the seasoned, roasted tomatoes go very well with the creamy, tangy, herbed goat cheese.
 Sometimes, simple is really, really good.





Written Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the tomatoes cut-side up on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme.  Roast 1 hour, then turn heat up to 400 degrees and roast an additional 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes are very soft and slightly shrunken.   For the last 8 - 10 minutes, place the baguette slices on a baking sheet, and bake until golden brown.  You could drizzle the slices with EVOO also if you desire.  Spread some herbed goat cheese on each warm crostini and top each with the roasted tomatoes.  I allowed two per slice.

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