Saturday, June 4, 2011

Roasted Tomato-Jam Caprese Panini

What do you do when you're stuck in the house all day cleaning because it's raining outside? slow roast Roma tomatoes in the oven to make a tomato jam for a caprese sandwich and roasted tomato-basil soup.  My house smelled of garlic, thyme, rosemary and basil all day today.  It sure makes cleaning a whole lot easier.  Unfortunately, I still need to do the dishes, but thankfully soup and sandwiches are an easy clean-up!

Slow Roasted Tomatoes: 

12 large Roma tomatoes, stems removed, sliced in half lengthwise, seeded
1 tbsp fresh thyme, minced
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  • Toss tomatoes with herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a rack on top of a sheet pan to catch drippings.
  • Slow roast tomatoes for four hours, turning tray every hour.
  • Let tomatoes cool and remove skin.

Roasted Tomato-Basil Soup:

1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine, white wine or vegetable stock
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
6 slow roasted Roma tomatoes, chopped with juices
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
3-4 cups filtered water
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp fresh basil, minced

  • In a sauce pan, heat olive oil and cook onions, celery and carrots until soft, about five minutes.  Add garlic and cook two minutes longer, stirring to prevent burning.
  • Add tomato paste and red wine and cook until wine has evaporated, about two minutes.
  • Add roasted tomatoes, diced tomatoes, water, thyme and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes.  Adding more water if necessary.
  • Add tomato mixture to a blender in batches and blend until smooth, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  • Strain soup through a mesh strainer to remove any skins or seeds and return soup to the pan and place heat on low to keep warm.  Check seasonings and just before serving stir in fresh basil.
Roasted Tomato Jam:

6 slow roasted Roma tomatoes, finely chopped with juices
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.  Let sit at room temperature until ready to use.
Caprese Panini:

1 sweet Italian batard, sliced on a bias, 1/2" slices
1/2 bunch fresh basil leaves
1 cup roasted tomato jam
1 cup Daiya Mozzarella Style Cheese
1/2 cup Daiya Cheddar Style Cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

  • Brush the outside of each bread slice with olive oil, turn over and sprinkle with mozzarella and cheddar cheese.  
  • Next spoon on tomato jam, add basil leaves, and more mozzarella cheese.
  • Close sandwich and grill on panini press for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and cheese has melted.  
  • Slice on a bias and serve with a bowl of roasted tomato-basil soup. 

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