Spring is not that far off…..right?! Lately, I’ve been thinking about tomatoes as I gaze out at my frozen little garden with it’s stark, empty branches. With that thought in mind, I made this bright roasted tomato caprese salad and topped it with a nut-free arugula and basil pesto. It’s as easy as tossing whole cherry tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper and fresh thyme sprigs. Roast these little gems in the oven until they burst open. It’s funny that a dish with only a few ingredients can be so terrific. Serve with lightly toasted bread slices as a flavorful appetizer, or add grilled chicken or prosciutto for a hearty lunch.
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella or burrata cheese
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh pesto (Bear Pond Farm makes a really good fresh pesto)
- Garnish: fresh thyme leaves, a pinch of sea salt or a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes with the olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Top the tomatoes with the thyme sprigs. Roast the tomatoes for 25-30 minutes, shaking the tray halfway through the cooking time. The tomatoes are done when they start to blister and burst open. Cut or tear the cheese into pieces and arrange the tomatoes with the cheese on a serving platter. Top with the pesto. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves, a sprinkle of sea salt or a drizzle of olive oil. Serve 4.