Every year, the tomatoes catch me by surprise. One day I’ll head out to peruse the garden for gorgeous produce to pluck from the vine and … nothing. A couple of days later, I swear that the vines are practically drooping with ruby red tomatoes. If I want my share, I have to move fast. My 8-year old son makes a beeline for the garden beds each morning and, if I’m not fast enough, his cheeks will be filled to the brim chipmunk-style before I even step out the door.
With a bounty crop each year, I’m always looking for new ways to use our tomatoes. This Open-Faced Roasted Tomato and Goat Cheese Sandwich recipe from Tasty Kitchen member Courtney came at the perfect time. The tomatoes are drizzled with a garlicky olive oil mixture and roasted until tender. The sweet tomatoes are layered with goat cheese, fresh herbs and golden brown Parmesan bits on top of grilled, crunchy bread. To finish the dish, a simple balsamic glaze is drizzled on top.
Enough chit-chat. Let’s make (and eat!) this amazing sandwich. We’ll also make a balsamic reduction to drizzle on top.
Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut the tomatoes in ¼-inch thick slices and spread them out on the lined baking sheet.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and sugar. The first time I made this, I found the tomatoes to be too salty (and this is coming from a confessed salt lover), so I used half the amount of salt the next time.
Pour the mixture evenly over tomatoes.
Bake until the tomatoes shrink slightly and are soft, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, set a large skillet over medium-high heat. Use a pastry brush to brush melted butter (or olive oil) on both sides of the bread slices.
Place the bread slices in the skillet and cook until they are evenly browned, turning halfway through. Transfer the bread slices to a plate.
This is where you get to make crispy, browned cheese. If you can resist eating at least half of it before it even makes it to the sandwiches, you are a better woman/man than me.
Add Parmesan cheese to the hot skillet. Grill until cheese is crispy and browned. When the cheese set, I flipped it over with a small metal spatula to brown it on both sides. Transfer the browned cheese to a plate and break into pieces.
To assemble, divide the bread slices between two plates. Divide the goat cheese between the bread slices and spread evenly.
Top each sandwich with 2-3 slices of roasted tomatoes. Sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs. Drizzle evenly with balsamic vinegar reduction (see note below). Top with Parmesan crisps. Serve immediately.
Note: This recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of balsamic reduction to drizzle over the finished sandwiches. That sounds really fancy and intimidating, doesn’t it? Have no fear, the process involves no more than some boiling, stirring and no more than 5 minutes of your time.
To make the balsamic reduction, pour 6 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar in a saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. When the vinegar reaches a boil, stir constantly until the vinegar reduces by half. It will have a syrupy consistency and a slightly sweet, decadent flavor.
Thanks so much to Courtney for this recipe. Be sure to check out Courtney’s blog, Bake. Eat. Repeat. It is full of recipes that feature seasonal ingredients, photos that will leave you licking your lips, and fun stories about daily life.
Creamy tangy goat cheese and sweet roasted tomatoes make the perfect summer sandwich. And don’t forget the Parmesan crisps! Fried cheese is always a good idea.
- 3 Slicer Tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 teaspoons Minced Garlic
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ teaspoons Black Pepper
- 2 pinches Sugar
- 6 Small Slices Crusty Bread (we Used Our Favorite Cheesy Semolina)
- 3 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
- ¼ cups Parmesan Cheese
- 2 ounces, weight Goat Cheese
- 2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Herbs (we Used Basil, Parsley, And Rosemary)
- 3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar Reduction Or Balsamic Glaze
1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Slice the tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick and spread them out on the baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and sugar. Pour mixture evenly over tomatoes. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until tomatoes are slightly shrunk and softened.
2. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium high heat. Use a pastry brush to brush melted butter on both sides of the bread slices. Place slices in the skillet and grill until evenly browned. Flip bread and continue to grill until both sides are browned. Remove bread to a plate.
3. Add 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese to the hot skillet. Grill until cheese is crispy and browned. Remove to a plate and break into pieces.
3. To assemble, divide bread slices among two plates. Smear one side of the bread with goat cheese. Top with 2-3 slices of roasted tomatoes. Sprinkle with assorted herbs. Drizzle evenly with balsamic vinegar reduction. Top with Parmesan crisps. Serve immediately.
Dara Michalski is a doll and a sweetheart who clearly knows her way around the kitchen. She blogs at Cookin’ Canuck, where she shares her flavor-packed recipes and fun, engaging writing. The photography’s pretty incredible, too.