The Perfect End-Of-Summer Salad: Roasted Tomato Caprese

The next time you think of making a caprese salad, consider this instead.

A bright harissa oil brings an element of the unexpected to this toss-up of summer’s best raw and roasted tomatoes. You can roast the tomatoes and prepare the harissa oil ahead of time.

Keep the roasted tomatoes in a jar covered in oil, bring to room temperature, and drain before continuing with the recipe.

Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds | 900 g tomatoes (a mix of small heirlooms and cherry tomatoes), halved
  • 2 tablespoons plus ⅓ cup | 80 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar or maple syrup
  • Fine-grain sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon harissa (a Middle Eastern chili pepper paste)
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • A small head of lettuce, trimmed
  • Labneh or goat cheese, to serve

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F | 175°C and adjust the oven rack to the top third of the oven. In a bowl, toss about half the tomatoes gently — but well — with the 2 tablespoons olive oil, the sugar, and a couple of pinches of salt. Arrange them in a single layer, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet.

2. Bake, without stirring, until the tomatoes shrink a bit and start to caramelize around the edges, 45 to 60 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. In the meantime, toast the caraway seeds in a dry skillet until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and crush with a pestle. Add the garlic clove and a pinch of salt and mash into a paste. Work in the harissa, then the lemon juice, and gradually the remaining ⅓ cup olive oil.

4. When ready to serve, gently toss the roasted and raw tomatoes in a large bowl with about half of the harissa oil and the lettuce. Taste and season with a bit more salt, if needed. Serve topped with a little strained yogurt and the remaining harissa oil on the side.

Reprinted with permission from Near & Far by Heidi Swanson, copyright ©2015. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Photography credit: Heidi Swanson © 2015

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