Cherry Tomato Crostini with Vermont Sourdough & Herbed Cheese

 

Tomatoes are here, in all their glory. Big and small. Red and green. Round and sphere. Perfect time to be making something and everything I can think of to relish the visceral sunny experience of biting into a juicy, warm and ripe tomato. This David Lebovitz recipe of cherry tomato crostini and homemade goat cheese echoes the rhythm and sight of what has been happening lately in my kitchen this summer. Loaves of sourdough bread on the cooling racks. Herbs freshly cut to be sprinkled on or incorporated in pesto and sauces. Tomatoes from the farmers’ market on the kitchen counter. Once these seemingly disparate food are assembled in a full complement of one coherent dish, there are no words. Only smiles and ahs!

This is not the first time I roast cherry tomatoes in the oven, except I usually spread out the tomatoes on a sheet pan. This time I roasted them in a baking dish that held the cherry tomatoes in a snug single layer, following closely David’s directions. Combining the cherry tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, thyme and rosemary, I baked them for close to an hour, 10-15 minutes longer than the 45 minutes, in a 350°F oven, called for in the recipe, until the juices started to concentrate and brown in the bottom of the dish. The end result was some delectable juice (you don’t get that from a shallow baking sheet) that was used to spoon over the toasts. The obvious star of the dish, the cherry tomatoes, were juicy with concentrated, sweet and unctuous flavor.

Best parts: flavorful roasted tomatoes in its own juice and the aroma of herbs

 

homemade herbed cheese spread over the crispy sourdough crostini

I used Fage 0% Greek strained yogurt (a regular in my fridge) as the base to make the herbed cheese. Goat yogurt is hard to find in our area. Fage is a cow milk, so I’ve made cow cheese. (A short cut to prepare a homemade goat cheese spread: mix store-bought goat cheese with crème fraîche and ricotta.) The preparation is quite similar to the way I make labneh. After straining the yogurt for two days in the fridge, very little whey came out of the resulting cheese. Mixed in chives, basil, minced shallots, minced garlic, salt and cayenne pepper, the homemade cheese is as good as Boursin, the popular French herbed cheese. I take pride that it’s a DIY cheese, although I didn’t milk the cow. Better yet, I have the option to tailor make any flavor in the homemade version. Cool! This homemade cheese will be making repeated appearances beyond the summer tomato season.

Please visit Cook-the-book-fridays to see how the online group, a community of engaging home cooks and lovely people, who are working through David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen, is liking this recipe. The bread is my family’s favorite, of which I’ve made many variations. I love making it over and over because this recipe makes the most reliable and gut-warming slice of bread. The recipe is outlined in the cheat sheet below. This Vermont sourdough with whole rye bread stands out with its incredible and richly caramelized crust as well as its tasty and tender crumb. We found ourselves finishing the whole loaf of bread, even when there was no more roasted tomatoes left.

I’m sharing this post with the Bread Box, hosted by Karen’s Kitchen Stories.

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Emily
    August 19, 2016 at 4:47 am

    Hahaha, I had to google this ~ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/08/unctuous-food-words-hate_n_3023034.html

    Yup, love the juices from the roasting tommies with the herbs, olive oil and seasoning – great to eat the tommies on their own without the goat cheese. Love your picture of the gorgeous tomatoes and that loaf of sourdough rye!

  • Reply
    Emily
    August 19, 2016 at 4:52 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply
    oneexpatslife.com
    August 19, 2016 at 6:42 am

    I love tomato season too. I can't get enough of them.

  • Reply
    Nicole
    August 19, 2016 at 10:25 am

    I have started to experiment with Tartine's infamous sourdough loaf, and it is just delicious as I am sure yours is. I am sure it made this crostini even more delicious than it already was!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    August 19, 2016 at 10:25 am

    I have started to experiment with Tartine's infamous sourdough loaf, and it is just delicious as I am sure yours is. I am sure it made this crostini even more delicious than it already was!

  • Reply
    Mardi Michels
    August 19, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Interesting that you compared your "cheese" with Boursin – is that what the consistency was like (a littl drier?). This was what I was expecting but mine was more like a dip consistency (similar to what David's looks like in the photo in the book). I was confused by the "cheese" because mine wasn't what I was expecting but it was still really tasty! Also love roasting tomatoes like this!

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    August 19, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Fresh bread tastes so good on its own, even before roasting it. The texture changes with more heat in the oven. The tartine formula is a good one. Less levain, less tang, less chewier and thicker crust with higher initial oven temperature than this bread.

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    August 19, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    The texture of the homemade version is that of goat cheese, but dryer outside and creamier inside.

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    August 19, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Unctuous. Rich and smooth in oil. The tomatoes are bursting with flavor and silky with fat. You are actually looking up the word! Good for you.

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    August 19, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    What is summer without tomatoes?

  • Reply
    Natascha Beutner
    August 19, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Wow! thanks for sharing the bread recipe too! The cheese was excellent and paried with those gorgeous tomatoes! Mine were like yours. Different colours which really made the whole dish even more beautiful!

  • Reply
    Natascha Beutner
    August 19, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Wow! thanks for sharing the bread recipe too! The cheese was excellent and paried with those gorgeous tomatoes! Mine were like yours. Different colours which really made the whole dish even more beautiful!

  • Reply
    Teresa
    August 20, 2016 at 6:34 am

    You describe the tomatoes perfectly! I left mine in a little longer than the recipe called for and didn't regret it. The juices in the pan make me want to roast tomatoes this way always. Your bread is so gorgeous and must have made a delicious base for this treat. I thought the process of making the cheese was very much like making labneh, too. I'm going to be making both parts of this dish together and separately – they're so good and good for so many things.

  • Reply
    Nana
    August 20, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Your homemade bread is beautiful. Hubby and I love tomato season, there is nothing like a fresh tomato sandwich with mayo, salt and pepper. Your roasted tomatoes are gorgeous, and the photo of the crostini makes it look so scrumptious and delicious.

  • Reply
    kitchen flavours
    August 20, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    Your homemade bread is gorgeous! Love the crusty crust and the soft interior! Beautiful crostini! I used my homemade cows' yoghurt, and we love the herbed cheese, especially good when used as a veggie dip!

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    August 20, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    The enormous oven spring of this bread surprised me. I'd bake it again just to be sure I can repeat the same result. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Mary Hirsch
    August 20, 2016 at 10:14 pm

    What a wonderful post. Photos are beautiful. The tomatoes were colorful and easy to photograph for all of us but that sourdough bread pix, my fave. Now there are 3 CtBF's bloggers who are into the sourdough business. Hmmmmm. Long ago I nursed a "mother" along and it was a fun adventure. I didn't make my own goat cheese but just glorified a store-bought log. Cheating, I know, but will try it now that you all have either hit or miss and have some tips. I also really liked everything about this week's recipe choices.

  • Reply
    KB from Prof Who Cooks
    August 21, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    I love reading your posts, not just for the gorgeous photos, but also for the beautiful turns of phrase. Very evocative, the "visceral sunny experience" of eating those roasted tomatoes. Heck, yeah! I'm glad to read that the 0% Fage yogurt worked well as I think that's the way I'll revisit this recipe far more often. I was worried that the lack of fat would affect the mouthfeel of the spread, but yay!

  • Reply
    dulceshome.com
    August 21, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Oh my goodness! that bread! and the photos!!! Very impressed with all of your home made goodness. I didn't have time for the cheese itself, so made do with soft goat cheese from the store – but with home grown herbs and tomatoes from my garden. Everything looks wonderful and your photos really are spectacular!

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    August 21, 2016 at 8:52 pm

    Mary is right. The different colors and the plum tomatoes make it easy for us to get good pictures. Photography was my first love before I get into cooking and baking. Thank you for all your kind words.

  • Reply
    lisa brown
    August 30, 2016 at 1:20 am

    Thank you for sharing the bread recipe, yours look wonderful. I have sourdough starter from Betsy that I keep making crackers from- I must get out and make some bread. Good for you to make the goat cheese, you made it sound so easy. I was actually picturing Boursin as you were describing it, before I fell upon your "Boursin" description and Unctuous- I actually thought it was a typo! But then thought better, I am glad others shared the definition.

  • Reply
    flour.ish.en
    August 30, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    It's fair to say I commit a good amount of typos, spellcheck not withstanding.

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