Sharing my favorite go-to appetizer: Roasted Tomato & Onion Burrata. We often have friends stop by unexpectedly and a quick visit will turn into a party as we start chatting and losing track of time. That’s why I always keep burrata on hand. Especially during the summers months when I have fresh tomatoes and basil growing freely.
This appetizer lends itself well to the outdoors. We start a fire in the outdoor fireplace, grill up some rustic bread or a nice French baguette and gather around the bar to dip our bread into this aromatic grilled tomato, basil, and onion cheese dip. It does not hurt that we always have Castello di Amorosa wine on hand.
Wash and chop 1 ½ cups fresh tomatoes, or sliced cherry tomatoes make a nice presentation, slice one small yellow onion, and drizzle with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
It’s no surprise to any of you that have tried Cedar Oak Farms Smoked Sea Salt that I long ago threw out my salt & pepper shakers for this flavor intense savory salt instead. So, when it comes to tomato-based dishes, I would never insult the dish by using anything else but. Yes, it is that good!
If you are using ordinary salt and pepper add a dash or two of balsamic vinegar to kick up the taste.
Sauté on high heat for 5 minutes, or until tomatoes begin to blister. Transfer to a small baking dish and bake at 450⁰ for 4 minutes.
Cut the the tops off of 3 – 4 garlic bulbs, drizzle with some olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place on rack in the open fire and enjoy a drink with friends as it roasts.
When perfectly roasted to a golden brown and the cloves are soft, cut a French baguette into slices. Squeeze the garlic paste out of the bulb and spread over the bread. Brush with some olive oil. Place on a rack over the fire and grill to a crisp golden brown.
ROASTED TOMATO & ONION BURRATA:
Transfer the tomato and onions to a large plate. Place 4 ounces of burrata on top of the blistered tomatoes, arrange the bread in a semi-circle around the plate, and garnish with fresh basil. Pour another glass of wine and enjoy friends and the last days of summer.
- 1½ cups tomatoes, chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, sliced
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 French baguette
- 1 roasted garlic bulb
- Olive oil, for brushing
- 4 ounces burrata
- 3 fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 450⁰.
Toss tomatoes and onions in olive oil and add salt and pepper and a dash of vinegar, to taste. Sauté on high heat for 5 minutes until tomatoes begin to blister. Transfer to a baking dish and bake for 4 minutes.
To make crostini: Cut the tops off of 2 – 3 garlic bulbs, drizzle with olive oil and salt & pepper. Roast in 425⁰ oven for 35 – 40 minutes. Cut bread into slices. Spread the garlic paste over slices and brush with olive oil. Grill to a crispy golden brown.
To plate, place burrata on top of tomato and onions, serve with crostini, and garnish with basil.