Yesterday, I wrote about our neighborhood's amazing new bakery, Bread Furst. I've been bringing home samples of their bread every couple days, which means I had to find things to do with it (other than just eat it immediately, which was so tempting). So, of course, one of the things I did was make toast.
|Kitchen shears make fast work of chopping (or rather snipping) fresh chives.|
Toast is apparently "hot" right now, which might seem strange until you realize that toast offers a lot of wonderful possibilities. You can top it with just about anything, from basic butter or jam to layers of savory goodness.
With a loaf of Bread Furst's dense, flavorful whole grain bread, I decided to make bruschetta, an Italian style of toast that involves garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper, sometimes with other toppings. (Please note that bruschetta is NOT a jar of tomato spread, despite what you may find at the grocery store).
Because this bread is so flavorful and tomatoes available this time of year are not, I decided to roast the tomatoes, which can bring out good tomato flavor even during their anemic off-season (tomatoes are best bought locally July through September). I also used fresh ricotta (not homemade this time) and fresh chives from my herb garden.
Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Bruschetta
7-8 plum tomatoes, quartered
2 tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
5-6 slices of thick, crusty bread (I used a whole grain bread, but you could substitute other types)
3/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese, softened (you can soften it in the microwave for about 20 to 30 seconds at 50% power)
2 tbsp. fresh chopped chives
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Add the tomatoes to a roasting pan, drizzle with 1 tbsp. of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss with a wooden spoon to coat the tomato pieces. Roast in the hot oven for about 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit, then mash the tomatoes with the wooden spoon until they have a chunky sauce-like consistency.
2. Preheat the oven broiler. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet. Brush or spray with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Broil until the tops of the bread slices are lightly toasted, about 2 minutes, watching carefully to make sure they don't burn.
3. Transfer the toasted bread to a serving plate. Mix the softened ricotta cheese with freshly ground black pepper and spread the cheese on each slice of bread. Then top each piece of bread with a generous spoonful of roasted tomatoes. Sprinkle with fresh chives and serve.