Tomatoes on the vine…the sights and tastes of the Summer season and hopefully the promise of an extended period of good weather until the Autumn frosts..these are beautiful things. Cookbooks are beautiful things to (are you thinking, “where did THAT thought come from?” and one in particular is from a favorite cookbook author, MICHELE SCICOLONE, based in New York City and has been writing wonderful cookbooks that bring good food and sentiments to your table. She’s very easy to follow and her recipes are wonderful. So here’s the tie in–that tomato dish picture and the focus of this blogpost is from her cookbook THE ITALIAN VEGETABLE COOKBOOK. Certainly this one is a favorite for all the reasons I mentioned and more..the photography is wonderful, the reading is easy, and the foods are glorious. It’s a celebration of Italian Vegetable ideas and not once will you say..hmmm. where’s the BEEF??? There’s my copy, i bought it as soon as it came out. AND doesn’t that cover look like the lead picture?? Of course it does and I’m going to share with you how I made this with many thanks to Michele Scicolone (http://www.amazon.com/The-Italian-Vegetable-Cookbook-Antipasti/dp/0547909160)
This dish is a star and her version pairs the “on the vine” roasted tomatoes with Burrata. Anything more delicious than Burrata? Ok, maybe somethings AS DELICIOUS AS burrata. For my version though I was Burrata-less and instead used what I had in my fridge which were BOCCONCINI or CILIEGIE DI FIOR DI LATTE…”Fresh” small Mozzarella Balls in Water. I’d strongly advise either the Burrata with this (which is best because of it’s Creamy nature) or a fresh style in the water small mozzarella. Get yourself about 1 lb of Tomatoes on the Vine..fresh picked would be even better! Pre heat your oven to 375 degrees F. Coat them with 1 cup of Imported Italian Olive Oil, a good sprinkle of Kosher Salt, grinding of Black pepper and place them into a baking pan lined with foil. Try to make sure none of the tomatoes are touching so the heat reaches all sides and roasts them evenly.
Place into the oven and roast for at least 20 minutes or until the skins are splitting away and shriveled and the tomatoes sort of collapse and are soft. There, you are done! To serve, open the burrata, or slice it, or used the bocconcini and drizzle with the juices from the roasting pan. About 1 lb of cheese should do it. Add that around the tomatoes and garnish with fresh Basil. Serve with really good bread. Thank you to Michele Scicolone for this wonderful book AND recipe.
*My recipe is adapted from Michele Scicolone’s Book THE ITALIAN VEGETABLE COOKBOOK, so that means this is her idea, not mine, and i’m happy to share it. I highly suggest purchasing the book as well.