A Final Taste Of Summer – Garden Tomatoes and Arugula on Swiss and Garlic Crostini
After eating our way though a season’s worth of delights — from cherries to peaches to corn — we’re down to the summer’s last treat, tomatoes. The heirlooms are winding down; intense, tart-sweet Early Girls are great, and soon to be gone. Cherry tomatoes, especially the bright orange Sungolds, continue to bring a summery burst of flavor, but not for long. Let’s celebrate these delights in a simple, delicious way. We’ll mess with them as little as possible, and let their sweet tang help us kiss summer goodbye.
For these crostini, use a mix of the most flavorful, colorful tomatoes you can find. A combination of cherry tomatoes and heirlooms work beautifully. Dice the big ones, and slice the little ones in half. With a bit of balsamic vinegar and diced red onion working their magic, you may find it hard to wait for the crostini to be done.
Garden Tomatoes and Arugula on Swiss and Garlic Crostini
- 3 cups tomatoes – dice large tomatoes and slice cherry tomatoes in half
- 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (to taste, really. The amount depends on the tomatoes)
- 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup red onion, finely diced (optional)
- Salt and pepper
Mix very gently in bowl, let sit for 20-30 minutes. Do not refrigerate (Avoid refrigerating tomatoes in general – they lose flavor in the cold).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- 12 ½”-thick slices baguette
- 4 tablespoons Kerrygold salted butter, melted
- 1 large clove garlic, cut in half width-wise
- 2 cups Kerrygold Swiss Cheese, grated
- 1 good-sized handful arugula (this will be added to the tomato-onion mix – if arugula isn’t available, the crostini work fine without it)
Place baguette slices on baking sheet and brush both sides with butter
Brown in oven, turning slices once so both sides brown evenly
Remove from oven, let sit briefly until they can be handled
Add arugula to tomatoes, tossing very gently
Turn oven up to Broil
- Rub browned surface of crostini with cut side of garlic clove, then top crostini with cheese
- Return crostini to oven just until cheese is melted
- Remove from oven, let cool for a moment
- Top crostini with tomato-arugula mixture
- Sprinkle with a bit of freshly ground pepper and salt
The tomato-onion mixture is also delicious tossed with pasta (linguine or spaghetti work well here). Let the tomatoes, balsamic and onions marry for a couple of hours, along with 1-2 teaspoons very finely chopped garlic, again. Again, do not refrigerate. Once you’re ready to cook the pasta, add a couple tablespoons finely chopped basil.
When pasta is done, strain and toss immediately with tomato mixture and enough olive oil to give the noodles a bit of sheen. Top with freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino and a bit of pepper. Serve and enjoy immediately.