My favorite eggplant parmesan, a penne with a tomato cream sauce, lasagna Bolognese, caprese salad, Caesar salad and of course cake for dessert. I don’t think we have a speck of Italian heritage but it seems to be one of my family’s favorite types of cuisine. It feels comforting. It feels like home.
Roasted Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
Roasted Heirloom Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
1-2 pints cherry tomatoes or Heirloom cherry tomatoes
1 container or 2 cups marinated mozzarella balls, cherry tomato size (ciliegine)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tablespoons aged, good quality balsamic vinegar
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (Julienne) or hand torn (save a little for garnish)
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
Toss the tomatoes in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with a little salt and pepper. Transfer the tomatoes to a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer. Roast them in the oven for about 5-8 minutes or just until they are wilted. You only want to bring the sugars (sweetness) out of the tomatoes so don’t leave them in too long or they will be too mushy.
In a large bowl toss the marinated mozzarella with the fresh basil. Then gently fold in the tomatoes and then pour onto a platter. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon olive oil on the salad and then the 1-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Season with another pinch of salt and pepper and then garnish with remaining fresh basil.
Serve room temperature or slightly chilled.