This time, it was.
Yes… Give me all of this salad.
I actually decided to try this on a whim after buying a pound of mini heirloom tomatoes that were simply too pretty to pass up. No matter how much I wanted them to be sweet, it’s just not quite tomato season yet and the flavor paled in comparison to their beauty.
Now, if you know anything about my cooking vibe, know this… I’m a huge proponent of roasting fruits and veggies to bring out their natural sugars before incorporating them into recipes, which in this case turned out to be a perfect solution.
To say this is the best caprese salad I’ve eaten is a serious understatement. Jonny hovered over the plate as I rattled off a quick series of photos, then we threw elbows standing at the counter for every last bite.
That afternoon I drove back to the grocery and bought two more pounds of the mini heirlooms to make another round. This time, a double.
Yes. Give me all of the second batch of this salad.
Slow Roasted Mini Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad
(makes 4-6 servings)
2 lbs mini heirloom tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Fresh ground black pepper
8 oz fresh mozzarella pearls
6 – 8 fresh basil leaves
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.
Cut the mini tomatoes in half, and squeeze out the seeds (a wee bit time consuming, but well worth the effort.) Arrange the halved tomatoes on the prepared sheet pan, cut side up. Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar evenly over the top of the tomatoes, sprinkle them evenly with sugar, then salt and pepper.
Roast the tomatoes in the preheated oven for 1 hour. (Again, well worth the wait. They get all deliciously caramelized and sweeeeet like candy.)
Let the tomatoes cool to room temperature, then gently scrape them into a bowl and pour the juices from the pan over the top. Add the mozzarella pearls and top with julienned fresh basil…
Huh, who knew that the tomatoes would be even prettier after roasting?
And, even prettier after eating?
What a beautiful mess…
OMFG. SO GOOD.