Roasted tomatoes bring bright, bold summer sweetness to the toasted Italian bread with arugula, balsamic, and a Tuscan white bean spread.
By Amy Endemann
Roasting tomatoes are a killer way to make great use of summer’s crop. They’re like sweet, chewy dinner candy, awesome with pastas, eggs, salads and sandwiches. Today we’re serving them on a cross between an open-faced sandwich and a size XL Italian bruschetta – a mega bruschetta.
This is a combo of Italian flavors – roasted cherry tomatoes, prosciutto, black olives, arugula, balsamic, basil, and a Tuscan-style white bean spread, all layered on thick crusty toast.
Serve these as a knife-and-fork kinda starter or even as a main course, paired with a big green salad and maybe some roasted chicken if you’re feeling extra hungry. Whatever you do, don’t skimp on the roasted tomatoes. Make a double batch and thank me later.
- 1 lb / 450g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 Tbs olive oil plus extra for drizzling
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 14 oz / 400g can white beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp sugar
- 8-10 large slices crusty bread (larger than a baguette)
- handful fresh arugula
- 8 black olives, pitted and slivered
- 6 strips prosciutto, torn
- 6 basil leaves, sliced into thin ribbons
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350F / 180C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scatter cherry tomato halves and 3 sprigs of thyme over pan, then toss gently with a glug of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, til cherry tomatoes begin to shrivel. Remove from oven, then turn up heat to 425F / 220C for toasting the bread.
- Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat another glug of olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes plus a pinch of salt. Cook until shallots are soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add white beans, remaining thyme and ¼ cup water. After about 2 minutes, mash beans with back of spatula into a rough spread. Cook another minute to thicken the mixture then turn off heat. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
- In a small saucepan, bring balsamic vinegar and sugar to a boil. Reduce until syrupy, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Lay bread sliced on a baking sheet. In 425F / 220C oven, toast bread til browned on the edges, about 8 minutes. Drizzle each slice with olive oil.
- To assemble, spread some white bean mixture on toast. Top with arugula leaves, a few tomatoes, and olive slivers. Layer on some torn prosciutto, then drizzle with balsamic and top with basil.