When tomatoes are at their peak in late summer, we like to use them in every dish we can, from fresh tomato sauces to gazpacho to tomato frittatas. But there’s no better way to enjoy them, we think, than on one of the simplest dishes possible, tomato bruschetta. Here, we take bruschetta up a notch by roasting the tomatoes to intensify their flavor and adding a dollop of creamy ricotta for richness.
Bruschetta with Caramelized Tomatoes and Ricotta
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbs. fennel seeds, coarsely pounded or crushed
- Freshly ground black pepper and fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 lb. (750 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
For the bruschetta:
- 12 slices crusty country bread, cut into slices 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick
- Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
- 8 oz. (250 g) fresh sheep’s milk ricotta or well-drained cow’s milk ricotta
1. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, garlic, fennel seeds and a generous grinding of pepper. Set aside and let stand for about 30 minutes.
2. Preheat an oven to 300°F (150°C).
3. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Spoon the olive oil mixture over the tomatoes and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt. Bake until the tomatoes are partially shriveled and browned in spots but still juicy, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer to a bowl, taking care to scrape any juices and browned bits from the baking sheet into the bowl.
4. To make the bruschetta, position a broiler pan 4 inches (10 cm) below the heat source and preheat the broiler. Arrange the bread slices on a large baking sheet and brush the tops with olive oil. Slip under the broiler and broil until the edges are lightly browned and the tops are golden, 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Spread a heaping tablespoon of the ricotta on each slice of bruschetta and top each with 1 heaping tablespoon of the caramelized tomatoes. Arrange the bruschetta on a platter and serve. Serves 6.
Find more recipes like this one in our enticing collection of authentic dishes made modern, Rustic Italian, by Domenica Marchetti.