Monday, September 17, 2012

Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Garlic with Herbed Ricotta & Balsamic

There's never been a better time to stroll down to your local market or nearby supplier to scoop up some of these gorgeous, seasonal tomatoes.

From the vast array of colourful heirloom varieties - the thoroughbreds of tomatoes - to these brilliant red, lycopene rich, local cherry tomatoes - they are fragrant, fresh and bursting with flavour.

It won't be long before commercially produced tomatoes are shipped across the continent to find their way into our grocery stores, a mere shadow of their former selves; nutrient weakened, anemic looking and tasting somewhat like cardboard. 

Take advantage of these bountiful beauties while you still can!

Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Garlic with Herbed Ricotta & Balsamic
  • 1 basket cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quartered (you can use any tomato of choice)
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt & black pepper
  • 6 or so slices of dark rye bread (or bread/cracker/food of choice - see note below), sliced into smaller segments as desired
  • 1 cup or so ricotta cheese
  • Handful of fresh chopped herbs of choice, I used up the remaining lemon-thyme from my little herb box
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar



I used a dark rye bread for this recipe but you could use any whole grain of choice or, if you prefer not to use grains, consider serving the ricotta/tomato inside boiled egg white halves (with the ricotta filling/tomato topping taking the place of the removed yolks).


I ended up slicing each of these portions in three
to create smaller hors d'oeuvres bites

Heat oven to 300 F.

Spread a piece of parchment paper out onto a large baking tray.

Place tomatoes and garlic on tray.


Drizzle tomatoes and garlic with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper (yum!).

Place tray in oven for approximately 1 hour (tossing the tomatoes/garlic around at least once if you can during that time) until tomatoes have softened and garlic takes on a chewy roasted texture.

Don't miss out on the tray scrapings ~ delish!

Remove tray from oven and allow tomatoes to cool somewhat while you prepare ricotta mixture.

In a small bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, herbs of choice and lemon zest until combined.

Spread ricotta mixture onto bread/crackers of choice and top with tomatoes and garlic and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. 


  1. Kelly, this looks wonderful! I think I'll give it a whirl with my remaining tomatoes out in the garden. Thanks!

  2. nothing better than garden tomatoes! Cheers Michele :)

  3. Mandy - The Complete Cook BookSeptember 17, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Kelly, this is what I like to call a taste explosion! Scrumptious.
    :-) Mandy

  4. Aww... thank you Mandy! They sure went down with ease this weekend ;-).

  5. This takes bruschetta to a whole new level :D
    Loving it!

    Choc Chip Uru

  6. How simple and delicious. I love snacks like these.

  7. They look amazing. I think we mostly eat here those tomatoes which are a shadow of their former selves. I should start a garden again but there's so little time.

  8. I adore oven roasted tomatoes and this recipe with the ricotta is making my mouth water and it's just after midnight here in Budapest! We're off to Barcelona tomorrow where I am hoping to sample some amazing tapas and hopefully have better Internet!

  9. I happen to have some leftover ricotta in my fridge that I was wondering what to do with it, so thank you! What a delicious appetizer. Nate's always looking for something to munch on while I'm cooking dinner, so this is perfect :)

  10. Oh Kelly. I am printing this one NOW! This looks so stinkin' good. I've been all over the tomatoes at the farmer's markets too. I've been making pesto pizzas with fresh tomatoes. Soooo good! And I know this will be a hit with everyone in the family. Especially with you know who...balsamic, cheese and cherry tomatoes. Just might be her favorite meal of the summer season. :)

  11. I love foods like this. Fresh, easy, not too heavy (unless I have a ton of it, which I usually do coz I can't stop eating them). I love cherry tomatoes ... oh, that's another problem .... I love to just pop them into my mouth as is ... let's hope I have enough left to make these :)

  12. This is like my dream food....I think I could eat all of that in one second flat. I looove roasted tomatoes and combined with balsamic, lemon, ricotta...oh, amazing! You're so right about the tomatoes right now...they're gorgeous and so flavourful. I made a batch of yellow tomato soup using yellow tomatoes from my garden- you can't beat local, organic, fresh.

  13. Kelly, these look utterly delicious! I had something similar last week, so I know these are DELISH!

  14. I can eat these like candy! I would love to try this topping on goat cheese too. Now I am hungry!

  15. These look SO good! I love those roasted tomatoes! It's funny because I love a dark rye but I never buy it and certainly don't make it. I bet it really complimented those tomatoes! Delicious little treat!

  16. Oh my goodness! That would be my favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner!

  17. You know I grew up with tomato plants around our house. my mum always plants a variety of types and u can smell them from far, u know what I mean. For some reason in India I have realized that the tomatoes dont smell like tomatoes and they dont have seeds inside. I feel it has something to do with the commercial development, so I am kind of worried about the quality of the ingredients around.

    I said it already in google+, that looks absolutely fantastic on top. totaly my type of ingredients!

    One question, whats lycopene good for in the body?

  18. Hello Helene!

    Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant found primarily in cooked tomato, watermelon and pink grapefruit. It has been linked to the reduction of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease and more recently, to a reduction in photodamage caused by the sun.

    More info here if you're interested:


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