I love to cook and entertain, so when it’s party time, people generally expect me to make something yummy. After becoming vegan, much of my repertoire of seriously delicious, go-to, crowd-pleaser dishes was suddenly off limits. Like many of you no doubt, I found myself starting over from scratch. That’s why I’m SO excited about this simple, elegant Roasted Tomato Jam Crostini recipe.
Not only is this one sure to rock your next pot luck, picnic or holiday party, the roasted tomato jam has just 2 ingredients—cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar—that get transformed into a tasty medley of sweet and savory flavors.
If your garden is overflowing with cherry tomatoes, or you’re like me and you can’t resist buying pint after pint at the farmer’s market, here’s a delicious way to eat ‘em up!
With just minutes of prep and some basic cooking skills, anyone can make this appetizer. Probably the hardest step (which isn’t too hard at all) is reducing balsamic vinegar to a syrupy glaze. You simply bring it to a boil, then patiently allow it to simmer until it thickens and becomes slightly sweet. I used such as Colavita, but any goo quality balsamic will do.
I say ‘patiently’ because, yes, it is possible to burn vinegar. (I made this mistake once.) And whatever you do, don’t smell it! It smells like vinegar as it’s reducing (duh), which is not a nose-friendly experience. (Don’t ask me how I know! ?)
The basic version of this recipe—roasted tomato jam on oven-toasted bread—is quite good. But if you have the time and are feeling a bit more adventurous, I’m absolutely over the moon for the deluxe version made with almond ricotta and basil ribbons. It’s luxurious, elegant and absolutely addictive.
Roasted Tomato Jam Crostini is sure to be a hit among your crew, vegan or not. If I were you, I’d make a double batch.
Roasted Tomato Jam Crostini
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil (use water if oil free)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar, reduced to 1/3 cup
- 12 slices baguette or rustic bread, cut on the diagonal in 1/4 inch slices (if using a large loaf, cut bread slices in half)
- 1 cup Almond Ricotta or other creamy spread
- 20 fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
- Preheat the oven to 400. Place one oven rack in the second-to-bottom position and the other on the second-to-top position. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly spray with cooking spray.
- Combine the cut tomatoes, grapeseed oil (or water if oil free), salt and pepper in a bowl, and gently toss. Spread the tomatoes out evenly, skin side down, over one of the baking sheets. Arrange the bread slices on the second baking sheet.
- Cook the tomatoes and the bread together in the oven, (tomatoes on the lower rack, bread slices on the higher rack). After 5 minutes, turn the bread slices over and cook another 5 minutes. Remove bread from the oven. Roast the tomatoes another 10 minutes (20 minutes total).
- Reduced Balsamic: While the bread and tomatoes are cooking, add the balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until the vinegar has reduced to 1/3 cup, about 10-15 minutes. The result should be slightly sweet syrupy glaze.
- When the tomatoes and reduced balsamic have cooled, combine them in a large bowl, and gently toss together.
To assemble the crostini:
- Spoon tomato jam right onto the toasted bread slices and serve!For the "deluxe" version (shown), spread 1 heaping tablespoon of almond ricotta (or other creamy spread) on each slice of bread. Arrange some tomato jam on top and garnish with basil ribbons.