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Roasted Tomatoes with Goat Cheese

Last week I got to spend some time at one of my favourite hidden gems in Ottawa, The MoonRoom. It’s a very small, very trendy, very quaint little restaurant that has excellent small plates, wonderful cocktails, and great music. If you haven’t been yet, you really need to find your way over to Little Italy and check it out. Whenever I go I always get a couple things that are always on the menu – blow torched bacon wrapped olives and an egg white whiskey sour to name a few, but I also like to try out a few of the newer seasonal items. This time I tried out a roasted tomato with goat cheese and balsamic reduction. While I was enjoying all the perfectly matched flavours I thought to myself – I can’t do that!!! So, over the weekend, with the dish still fresh in my mind, I made four different versions, one with a balsamic reduction, one with truffle oil, one with a peach white balsamic, and one with a lime infused olive oil. They all turned out really well

Roasted Tomatoes & Goat Cheese

1 lb assorted cherry tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, smashed

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Goat Cheese, at room temp.

More Olive oil

Balsamic reduction

Chopped basil

1 baguette or some crostini

Other optional toppings

Flavoured balsamic

Flavoured olive oil

In a medium bowl toss the tomatoes and garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil. Dump onto a rimmed baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes have split and are soft looking. When they are done remove from the oven and reserve in a bowl along with all the liquids. NOTE – the left over oils can be drizzled over the tomatoes at the end in lieu of other oils or vinegar, or it can be used in a salad dressing/other recipe.

While the tomatoes are cooking slice the baguette thinly. Using your fingers or a brush, brush the pieces of bread with a bit of olive oil. Broil in the oven until toasted.

Using one large or many small serving plates, smear a few ounces of goat cheese, thendrizzle with a little olive oil, top with a few roasted tomatoes, then finish with a another drizzle of with oil or balsamic, some chopped basil and a final touch salt and pepper.

Serve with crostini.

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