Roasted Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions and Basil ‘Bruschetta’

“I think you may have an unhealthy obsession with Rihanna.”

“Is it because I told you if Rihanna asked me to run away with her, I would?”

Roo took a bite of bruschetta and nodded.

“Well, I had to warn you…in case if you saw us together on TMZ.”

“Really. TMZ?”

“It could happen. Anyway, it’s just a girl crush! You know, where you greatly admire someone -”

“Probably too much?”

“No such thing,” I said, rolling a roasted tomato back onto my bread. “Certainly there has to be someone you’re crushing on.”

“Like a man crush?”

“Yeah, like an athlete or an actor you’re obsessed with. Oh! Like Tom Brady.”

“While I greatly appreciate his Jedi-like skills, no.”

I tapped my finger on my plate. “I got it.”

“I don’t think so. I don’t have a guy -”

“Pedro.”

Roo stopped mid-chew. “Martinez?”

“You’d totally run away with him to a deserted island.”

Roo set his bruschetta down and folded his hands together. “Yes, yes I would.”

I laughed, picturing Roo and Martinez taking turns burying each other in the sand.

“You know why?”

“Because you greatly admire pitchers? Particularly ones that have played for the Sox?”

“That and he’s incredibly talented. He’s also pretty laid back and has a very diverse group of friends.”

“You’ve obviously thought this through.” I paused. “If you were asked, would I be invited?”

“Would I be, if Rihanna asked you?”

I smiled. “Obviously not.”

.

This is an autumnal take on bruschetta. The caramelized onions are sweet, full of body, giving balance to the roasted tomatoes that have maintained a bit of their acidity.  Placed on top of garlic-rubbed toasted bread, with a bit of basil, it makes a meal that seems both comforting and light.

Inspired by Giada De Laurentiis

Serves 2

Equipment

A sharp knife

A large skillet

A spatula

A roasting pan (if you’re worried about your ingredients sticking, give it a good rub with a little olive oil poured onto a paper towel)

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided

2 large onions, sliced

2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes

1 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon of red pepper flake (if you’re heat sensitive, start with a quarter teaspoon)

Salt to taste

4 thick slices of your favorite bread (make sure your slices are thick and that the bread is somewhat substantial so that they won’t collapse under the weight of the ingredients!)

1 clove of garlic, whole (optional, to be rubbed on the warm toast)

Quarter cup of fresh basil, chopped

Place the oven rack to the middle position in the oven.  Preheat the oven to 400F.

Place the cherry tomatoes onto the roasting pan.  Drizzle the tomatoes with one tablespoon of olive oil, then add the minced garlic, red pepper flake and salt to taste. Toss the ingredients together then set aside until the oven is preheated.

While you’re waiting for the oven to preheat, add the other tablespoon of olive oil to your skillet and place over a burner on medium heat.  When the oil starts to shimmer, add the sliced onions and salt to taste.  It’s going to look like there are too many onions.  Don’t worry, they’ll break down as they cook.

Toss the onions so that they’re evenly coated with the olive oil. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally until they’re deeply browned (ie caramelized); about twenty minutes.

While you’re cooking the onions, hopefully the oven has preheated.  Bake the tomatoes for about fifteen minutes, or until they’re sizzling, bursting and golden brown in appearance. If they finish before the onions, remove them from the oven and set aside.

Once your tomatoes are roasted and your onions have caramelized, throw your bread into the toaster, till it’s light brown.

To serve, rub the clove of garlic on each piece of warm toast (optional).  Add the onions on top.  Add the tomatoes on top of the onions, then the basil. The more toppings, the better.

Serve immediately either with a knife and fork or be daring (open wide) and eat with your hands.

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5 thoughts on “Roasted Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions and Basil ‘Bruschetta’

    • You are too kind! Food photography and I are not friends.

      Let me know if you try it though. We’ve been eating it about once a week and I. Can’t. Stop.

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