Balsamic & Tomato Toasts with Goat Cheese Spread

We tried to grow tomatoes in our garden this year and thought we had failed miserably. This summer was one of the hottest I ever remember in Seattle, and our plants were wilting and suffering despite our best efforts to give them enough water and shade. However, this September once things had a second to cool off a bit, our tomato plants returned to life!

What a nice surprise this was, and let me tell you how delicious these tomatoes are too. My husband swears he can never buy a tomato from a store again… which I think will be hard seeing that we don’t have the greenest thumbs, but we can sure enjoy these while we have them!

In our house we eat vegetarian a few times a week, especially always on Mondays (hence my “Meatless Mondays” posts I try to share regularly if you are a follower). I had to come up with a beautiful recipe for these delicious ripe tomatoes, and they have SO MUCH FLAVOR that I thought they would do well as the centerpiece of a vegetarian dish where they could truly shine!

There are a lot of flavors in this, but all ones that mesh well together… balsamic, olive oil, rosemary, garlic… my staples 🙂 So that they don’t come off as overwhelming, I thought that spreading goat cheese on the toast first would be a nice touch to add some substance and some subtle creamy flavor.


INGREDIENTS

  • 4 regular size tomatoes, diced
  • 1 loaf of crusty bread (like Como), sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 ounces plain goat cheese
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

Start by turning your sliced bread into croutons. I did this by lightly buttering each side of the bread, then toasting them in a pan until they firm up and turn slightly golden. If I was having a lazy day I suppose I would have just toasted them in a toaster, but I think they turn out almost too crunchy that way.

Dice your tomatoes, and place them in a medium bowl. Add your olive oil, garlic and salt. Set aside.

Take your toasts, and spread a layer of goat cheese, then spoon on a few tablespoons (however much you want) of the tomato mixture. Continue to do this until all your toasts have been topped!

Sprinkle a small amount of the chopped rosemary over each of the toasts… just enough to add a little color and flavor.

Last, drizzle a little balsamic over the tomato mixture on each of the toasts. I felt the balsamic was coming out of my bottle a little too fast, so I would pour it into a spoon and drizzle over my tomato toasts from there.

If you wanted to make these party-sized, you could instead use a thin baguette to make your croutons and create bite-sized toasts instead.

I hope you enjoy!

X.O. – Abbey Co.

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