Warm tomatoes kissed with the sun epitomize summer for me. I love seasonal tomatoes so much that I hesitate to eat tomatoes any other time of the year, they just don’t measure up. Favorite dishes include this tomato pie and this salad with mozzarella, tomato, avocado and pine nuts. Still, I think this simple dish of Warm Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta is my favorite and thought it worthy of pulling from the archives. There is nothing fussy, simply some warm, crusty bread topped with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes that are dressed with a touch of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper. This week this simple but outstanding dish is my contribution to the Food Network’s #SummerSoiree theme of tomatoes. Be sure to check out the links after the recipe for even more wonderful tomato recipes.
I grew up in the Midwest, in a suburb of St. Louis. Where a shovel meeting dirt resulted in something I never appreciated until I left. Warm, brown, magical dirt. Where tomatoes grew that fit the palm of your hand and a tomato sandwich with salt and mayonnaise were all you needed. I appreciate those tomatoes the most now that they are simply the stuff of legends for me. Denver’s soil is filled with clay and needs to be hugely amended to be fit for planting anything but beyond that? Our altitude, the late seasonal planting date and the cool nights simply are not conducive to tomatoes like Missouri was…so I often find that cherry tomatoes are my favorite and I loved the two colors that I found at this past weekend’s farmers market. Cute, colorful and tasty; perfect for this bruschetta.
I am growing tomatoes in some large pots but as hard as it might be for those of you with early planting dates to believe, I’ve not harvested any yet. Our normal date to plant and hope we’ve missed the last freeze is May 15 but we had non-stop rain and a couple of hailstorms this spring so I waited a bit longer and my little tomato crop has been delayed. I’ve just got two kinds, some cherry tomatoes and two nice plants of Early Girl. They are starting to turn orange so yes, I’m excited that soon, VERY soon I will have my first homegrown tomato sandwich followed by this simple dish. In the meantime, the farmers market it is. And I have to admit, these were pretty perfect. I need to find some plants that produce the little yellow tomatoes; I love the color combination in this finished dish.
While the tomatoes rein supreme in this dish, the other ingredients need to have some klout too. Good olive oil too. Do you remember the first time you had olive oil? I do…and I did not like it either. Much like my first experience with butter after growing up with margarine; it took some getting used to. Well, I’m beyond used to it now and love it and any dish with fresh ingredients like this calls for good olive oil. Actually the simplicity of ingredients calls for good everything; olive oil, fresh mozzarella (not shredded), fresh herbs and a gorgeous loaf of Tuscan boule combine with the star of the show, the best tomatoes. I’m convinced I need to make this again very soon; how about you?
- 6-8 slices of good crusty Italian bread
- 8 oz of fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
- 16 oz of fresh tomatoes - I had cherry tomatoes and they were perfect cut in half
- Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Leaves from either oregano or basil, chopped
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice cherry tomatoes in half or if using larger tomatoes, chop then into good size chunks and let them drain. Drizzle with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar and gently toss them to coat.
- Slice the bread and lay the slices on a cookie sheet (or two if necessary)
- Brush the top with olive oil and bake for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
- Layer the slices of mozzarella on top of each slice of bread, top with the tomatoes and return the bread to the oven for 2-3 minutes to warm the tomatoes and soften the cheese.
- Remove from oven; drizzle with more olive oil, top with herb(s) and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Best served with the absolute best tomatoes you can find.
What a terrific list of fresh tomato dishes from my fellow bloggers. Overrun with tomatoes? Now you have no excuses about what to do with them!
Still overrun with tomatoes? Just ask for my address; I’ll take them off your hands. I can never have enough of these gorgeous orbs; I almost cry when I enjoy the last of them each summer!
The Heritage Cook: Rice and Cheese Stuffed Roasted Tomatoes (Gluten-Free)
The Lemon Bowl: 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Beef & Eggplant
Homemade Delish: Sweet Tomato Jam
Healthy Eats: 7 Seasonal Uses for Fresh Tomatoes
Creative Culinary: Warm Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta
Weelicious: Heirloom Tomato Salad
Dishin & Dishes: Cobb Salad with Homemade Roasted Onion Vinaigrette
Domesticate Me: 10 Totally Awesome Tomato Recipes
Swing Eats: Tiny Insalata Caprese
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Tomato and Swiss Tart
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Tomato Pickle
Taste with the Eyes: Quiche with a Black Quinoa Crust, Heirloom Tomatoes, Spinach, Goat Cheese
Red or Green: Summer Pasta With No-Cook Tomato Sauce
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Heirloom Tomato & Crouton Casserole (Scalloped Tomatoes)
The Mom 100: Chopped Salad with Chicken, Tomatoes and Lemon Thyme Dressing
FN Dish: 10 Ways to Be a Tomato Whisperer