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, 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 ⅓ 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.
The jam will be a bit liquidy at first, but firms up in the fridge. If assembling the crostini immediately after cooking, you may need to strain a bit of the balsamic out to avoid soggy bread.If you're going for the deluxe version, the almond ricotta has to be started the day before, as the almonds need to soak in water overnight. This crostini is fantastic with ricotta, but any creamy spread would work. You could try a spreadable vegan nut cheese such as Treeline, vegan mozzarella or even a quick white bean spread (white beans + a pinch of salt and garlic powder processed in a food processor.)The nutritional information shown for this recipe is for the tomato jam and bread, and does not include the ricotta (or other spread).