Photograph by Gentl and Hyers Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis

Roasted Tomatoes with Ash Cheese

Amuse-Bouche from Issue 2 – Fall / Winter 2013 – Traces

A generous dash of Pimentón, a Spanish smoked paprika (we favor the hot variety) gives clusters of blistered sweet tomatoes a shroud of spicy smoke that, when paired with an oozing mound of ashy goat cheese and chunks of superficially burnt bread, has a near-narcotic effect on the palate. Just try to tear yourself away.

serves 6

  • 3 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¾ tsp picante (hot) Pimentón
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ pints (3 cups) cherry or grape tomatoes
  • cup chopped bottled piquillo peppers
  • 4 oz mild ash-ripened goat cheese (like Bonne Bouche from Vermont Creamery or Humboldt Fog)
  • Toasted bread or crackers

  • 1

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Cook shallot, garlic, and Pimentón in oil in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, piquillo peppers, and ½ tsp each of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are bursting and juicy, about 6 minutes.

  • 2

    Transfer mixture to a 1½-to 2-qt shallow baking dish and nestle in the cheese. Bake until cheese is meltingly soft and heated through, about 10 minutes. Tomatoes can be sautéed hours ahead and then just baked before serving.