Grilled Cherry Tomato, Garlic and Goat Cheese Toasts

Grilled Cherry Tomato, garlic and goat cheese toasts 054

So, picky eater that I was growing up, I actually rarely objected to tomatoes – in fact, I would even go so far as to say that I liked them as a child. When I was in grad school, in my early twenties, I did a summer abroad program in Austria, and every afternoon I would venture out to the closest farmer’s market and buy a large, gorgeous, in-season, juicy red tomato. I’d stand out in what Europeans think is a hot sun and eat the whole thing like it was an apple, juices running down my hands and dripping off my elbow to the ground. It was my afternoon snack; it was a daily moment of pure happiness, the kind that the freshest and most beautiful food can bring.

grilled cherry tomato, garlic and goat cheese toasts 057

So imagine this – I married a certified tomato hater. Apparently, Matt had zero tolerance for them growing up, even to the point he would pick them out of his sandwiches or fast food burgers. (Actually, when I think about it, that habit of his lasted well beyond childhood…)

Grilled Cherry Tomato, Garlic, and Goat Cheese Toasts 052

Determined spitfire that I am though, I saw this as a challenge rather than an incompatibility, and I wasn’t content to file it in the agree-to-disagree cabinet, despite the fact that no marriage doesn’t have such a filing cabinet, ours included. I pestered asked inquisitive questions about his dislike of tomatoes until he finally told me in detail why he hated them so much; turns out he had eaten one too many out of season tomatoes and then decided that all tomatoes were tasteless and mealy.

Grilled cherry tomato, garlic and goat cheese toasts 066

This is pretty easy to correct, right? I simply make sure we only eat raw tomatoes, in any form, when they are perfectly in season, and I’m fortunate that I can get local tomatoes from either Jersey or Long Island, so they don’t suffer in transit to our local grocery store or farmer’s market. And now, Matt loves in-season, good-quality tomatoes (especially heirlooms). Yea!!

Grilled Cherry Tomato, garlic and goat cheese toasts 072

And thus, I can make lovely appetizers like this one, and Matt will happily eat it and love it. You should too before summer tomatoes disappear for another year.

Grilled Cherry Tomato, Garlic, and goat cheese toasts 068

{One Year Ago: Summer Corn and Roasted Pepper Pie}
{Two Years Ago: Creamy Smoked Trout on Pumpernickel Toasts, Vanilla Ice Cream with Caramel-Chocolate-Peanut Butter Brittle}

Source: adapted from My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz

Ingredients:
About 1 lb. cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
8 oz. goat cheese, softened
1 tbs minced herbs, such as parsley, thyme, basil, or a combination
1 tsp minced garlic
1 loaf of round country bread, sliced somewhat thickly, then each individual slice cut in half crosswise
1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
A few sprigs or leaves of herbs, for garnish

Directions:
Soak some wooden skewers in water for about 30 minutes. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Thread the cherry tomatoes onto the skewers, then set them on a plate. Brush them well with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Grill them a few minutes on each side, turning as you go, until they are charred and the skins are starting to bust. Don’t take them too far – you don’t want them cooked completely through. They should still have some bite to them; we’re not making tomato sauce here.
When done, remove the skewers to a plate and let them cool slightly. Then use a fork to carefully remove the tomatoes from the skewers.
Meanwhile, preheat a small skillet over medium-low to medium heat. Add a nice film of olive oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add the garlic slices and cook them slowly, until they are golden and softened, about 5 minutes (but watch closely as you do not want to burn the garlic!). Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
Also meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese, minced herbs, minced garlic, salt and pepper until smooth. Set aside.
Once the tomatoes have come off the grill, place the bread slices on the grill, just to toast and get some marks. This will take about a minute per side. When the bread comes off the grill, immediately rub at least one side (or both sides if you prefer) with the cut garlic.
To assemble, use a butter knife to spread some of the goat cheese onto one side of the bread. Sprinkle a few of the sliced, cooked garlic on top, then top it with 3-4 cherry tomatoes, pressing slightly to nestle them into the cheese. Place the assembled breads onto a platter and garnish with herbs. Serve immediately.

8 responses to “Grilled Cherry Tomato, Garlic and Goat Cheese Toasts

  1. I have lots of tomatoes about to ripen in my garden. I think I might have to make some of these! I love goat cheese with tomatoes.

  2. I’m envious that you were able to convert your husband to like tomatoes! I’m still working on my guy, but so far it seems he can tolerate *cooked* tomatoes, similar to the way you prepared them for this recipe. Pretty excited to try it and see what he thinks (I already know I’ll love it!)

  3. I’ve got some fresh baked gluten free bread that this will go perfectly with! Loving the cherry tomatoes!

  4. There are so many of my favorite things in this! You cannot go wrong with goat cheese, garlic and tomatoes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *