Roasted Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad is a delicious variation on a previous recipe. The recipe in question demonstrates the versatility of Roasted Cherry Tomatoes. With minimal changes to the basic recipe, you will have another way in which to enjoy them; this time as a delicious salad. I generally serve this dish as an appetiser. It does however also make an excellent side dish or even a light, meat-free meal.
The recipe is simple, in fact, almost not a recipe but an idea. I have used heirloom cherry tomatoes here for their varied colour. However, you could use regular cherry tomatoes or halved Roma tomatoes. I toss the tomatoes with crushed garlic, dried oregano, sugar, salt flakes and extra virgin olive oil. I then roast them in a hot oven for 30 minutes until the tomatoes burst and their skins begin to caramelise. After they are cool, I remove the garlic. I then arrange the tomatoes on a serving platter. Add the torn fresh mozzarella and fresh basil leaves. I add a final sprinkle of salt flakes, just before serving, for some flavour and textural crunch.
The traditional recipe for Insalata Caprese is very simple.
Insalata Caprese, which loosely translates as the Salad from Capri, is just tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella, olive oil and salt. I love it prepared this way. On a hot summer’s day, when tomatoes are at their peak, there is nothing fresher or more delicious. In fact, when tomatoes, basil and mozzarella come together the world appears a little brighter. This beautiful salad, which wears the colours of the Italian flag, is a favourite of mine.
However, roasting the tomatoes adds another dimension to the traditional recipe.
Roast the tomatoes until they are bursting, their skins lightly tinged brown. Roasting the cherry tomatoes enhances their natural characteristics. The sweetness increases as the skins caramelise, the moisture is reduced and the flesh becomes concentrated. Their sweetness is complemented by the creamy silkiness of the cheese. Both ingredients are brightened by the vibrancy of fresh basil.
However, do not reduce the amount of olive oil. Although it may seem a generous amount it is essential to the outcome of the Roasted Cherry Tomato Caprese. The roasted tomatoes will release a lot of juice. The oil blends with the acidity of the roasted tomato juices creating a beautifully flavoured dressing. You do not need to add anything further.
Light, flavourful and so easy to prepare, this Roasted Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad is a winner.
I make it in the summer when tomatoes are at the height of their season. It is
I love to serve this salad with crusty bread to mop up the delicious juices, and my homemade Balsamic Glaze.
Enjoy your week, and do let us know in the comments below when you try this!
Alex and Faye xx
Roasted Cherry Tomato Caprese Salad
- 500 g cherry tomatoes I used heirloom
- 3 cloves garlic crushed *
- 1/4 cup olive oil extra virgin *
- 1 tsp sugar *
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp sea salt flakes *
- 150 g fresh mozzarella ball * torn into pieces
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- sea salt flakes to taste
- Preheat your oven to 200 Degrees C (400 F).
- Wash and dry the tomatoes, halving any that are large. I pierce the whole tomatoes with the tip of a sharp knife. It will prevent them from exploding in the oven.
- Place the tomatoes in a medium-size bowl.Add the crushed garlic, olive oil, sugar, dried oregano and salt and toss together.
- Turn onto a rimmed baking tray and place in the preheated oven.Bake the tomatoes for about 30 minutes or until they begin to caramelise.Remove the tray from the oven and set aside to cool.
- When cool, remove the crushed garlic. Arrange the tomatoes on a serving platter with the torn mozzarella and the basil leaves.
- Pour the roasting juices over the tomatoes.Add a sprinkle of good quality Sea Salt Flakes just before serving.Serve as an appetiser with crusty bread to mop up the juices, or serve as a side dish.
*To achieve the best flavour it is essential to use extra virgin olive oil.
*A teaspoon of sugar balances the acidity of the tomatoes.
*I use Maldon Salt Flakes. They have a beautiful flavour. I add just a little with the roasting and a sprinkle over the finished salad. The salt at the end provides a little crunch.
*To make the salad extra special, Buffalo mozzarella or a ball of Burrata would be a delicious alternative.