On Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad & Fancy Cheese Boards

Dear readers,

Sometimes, the idea of cooking completely repels me, so Frankie and I will engage in what we have called “French and Shit,” or a fancy way of doing a Midwestern Hat Trick. If THAT doesn’t make sense, basically we do a cheese board for dinner and sip on beer or whiskey. Now I have been on a roasted tomato kick lately since working my way through the Tucci cookbook, so I thought, let’s add a little veg to the board with a roasted tomato and melty mozzarella dish! A warm caprese if you will. The only mistake I made was not making the toast big enough to hold the cheese pieces…DON’T SKIMP ON THE BREAD…plus if you schmear some of the roasted garlic on the bread first…I mean, that’s the winning bite right there. It was so good that and the roasted garlic was the only thing we really did finish, so I highly recommend for the next time you need something really easy, satisfying to quell your hunger. And yes…I’m aware that I did in fact cook for this…but what did I really do? I tossed veggies and seasoning, threw it in the oven, cut off the top of a garlic, cut cheese, arranged the board…I mean…it was the easiest cooking I’ve ever had to do, and hardly any prep required. Gotta love a good “French and Shit” night.

P.S. Don’t forget that you can order cookies from me directly from my Cookie Order Page on this very same blog! (Yes, shameless plug, but I need to keep pushing it!)

Hoping you are safe and well!

— Cooking Maggie

Cheese Board

Ingredients

  • White Cheddar Cheese, sliced into bite sized pieces
  • Manchego Cheese, sliced into bite sized triangle pieces
  • Salami, scattered in a fun pattern
  • Coppa (beef), made into a rose using the rim of a wine glass or small mason jar
  • Crackers, whatever your preference
  • Toasted Sourdough Bread, cut into half pieces (the pieces shown were too small)
  • Roasted Tomato & Mozzarella Caprese Salad
    • 1 pint of larger cherry tomatoes
    • 2 tsp dried thyme
    • 4 garlic cloves minced
    • 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1 mozzarella ball, broken up into large chunks
    • Fresh cracked pepper
    • Salt
    • lightly dried basil for sprinkling (linked here for guidance)
  • 1 whole head garlic

Instructions

  1. ROASTED GARLIC: You should start this first. Preheat your oven to 350. Cut the top of the garlic head off (leaving most of the garlic cloves exposed). Place the garlic head on a small sheet of aluminum, cover in a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle some salt and pepper on top. Close up the aluminum foil like a pouch and roast for about 1 hour.
  2. ROASTED TOMATO: Toss tomatoes, thyme, garlic, and olive oil together in a baking dish (big enough to have tomatoes in one layer). Season slightly with a little salt and toss again. Put in the oven at about 20 minutes into the garlic’s cook time, and roast until tomatoes are bursting (about 40-45 minutes). Place your Mozz on a large platter or plate, scattered around, then spoon the hot tomatoes directly on top to help melt the cheese. Keep the tomatoes in a turned off oven to keep it all warm. Sprinkle with extra salt, fresh cracked pepper, and a little lightly dried basil. Eat with the bread, and for added garlic flair (provided you’re not a vampire), schmear a soft piece of roasted garlic on the bread, then top with the cheese/tomato.
  3. BREAD TOASTS: You can add these in at the 50 minute mark of the garlic cook time to give the bread time to toast.
  4. CHEESE BOARD: Place the coppa flower in the middle, make an S with the salami, arrange the hard cheese and crackers around, and leave room for a small dish of the roasted garlic and plate of caprese salad. Place remaining bread toasts around the empty spaces. DONE! EAT! ENJOY!

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