r i p e

Tomato and Basil Crostini    (printer friendly)
Makes 24 pieces

Tomato and Basil Crostini12-14 plum tomatoes (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons thyme leaves

1 baguette, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
olive oil
2 tablespoons marjoram
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, cut into 24 slices (1/2 inch thick)
24 small, whole basil leaves

1. To make tomatoes: Preheat oven to 250F. Cut the tomatoes lengthwise in half and remove the seeds by poking them out with your fingertip. Toss the tomato halves with the oil, salt, sugar and thyme in a bowl. Spread the tomatoes cut side up on a baking sheet and bake for about 2-3 hours. The tomatoes should be slightly browned on the edges, the skins wrinkled and have the texture of a soft prune. Can be made ahead and refrigerated, but bring to room temp before serving.

2. To make the toasts: Preheat broiler. Brush both sides of bread slices lightly with olive oil and put on a baking sheet in a single layer. Toast until golden brown and then turn over and toast other side.

3. Assembling: Preheat oven to 350F. Top each toast with a tomato half, a sprinkle of marjoram and a slice of mozzarella. Warm crostini in the oven just until the cheese softens, about 3 minutes. Transfer crostini to a serving platter and top each with a basil leaf. Serve immediately.