More apt would be to call it Candied Tomatoes because that’s what happens when you lap summer’s best tomatoes in a brew of honey and balsamic and then slow roast them until caramelization sets in. They are a wonder so good, they often get swiped off the baking sheet before they make it to the crostini.
They’re perfect crown jewels to top ricotta or burrata for a simple appetizer. They’re equally delicious stirred into pasta then showered with Parmesan cheese or used as a filling for sandwiches of every stripe. Honey Balsamic Tomato Grilled Cheese anyone? Uh, yes please!
So, add these to your summer bucket list. Go get yourself a couple of baskets of cherry tomatoes, do them up with the honey and all that other good business and spoon them, still warm over your crostini. Call the kids in from outside, invite a friend over, gather in the kitchen, open a bottle of bubbly.
Candy is rarely this good for you. It’s worth celebrating.
Honey Balsamic Caramelized Tomato Crostini
You might be surprised how dramatically four cups of cherry tomatoes reduce down when slow cooked for a good long while. Feel free to up the volume by 50 percent or more, being sure to give them plenty of room (a second baking sheet might be in order). Fresh Mozzarella or burrata can happily sub in for the ricotta if that’s your preference. You can keep leftovers in the fridge moistened with a little more olive oil and covered well for a couple of days.
2 baskets ripe cherry tomatoes (about 4 cups), stems removed
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 baguette, cut into 1/3-inch thick slices
4 to 6 ounces fresh ricotta cheese
Fleur de sel or regular salt to finish
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Put the tomatoes on a baking sheet with sides.
Using a small bowl, whisk together the honey, balsamic, and olive oil until the honey blends into the mix. Pour over the tomatoes and move the pan around to coat them well. Sprinkle the 1/4 teaspoon salt over the tomatoes and top with a generous couple of grinds of black pepper.
Roast until the juices flow, the tomatoes shrivel and begin to caramelize around the edges, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven.
To assemble the crostini, spread a teaspoon or 2 of ricotta cheese over a baguette slice, top with a spoonful of roasted tomatoes, add a pinch of fleur de sel or regular salt, finish with a small pinch of chopped basil.
Makes enough for 4 to 6 people