It’s high summer, tomatoes are at their peak, and the grill can be fired up at a moment’s notice. Grilled cherry tomato bruschetta is a deliciously easy appetizer that can double as a light meal.
cherry tomato bruschetta wins summer
I saw the idea on Todd and Diane’s blog, White on Rice Couple. They were celebrating a bumper crop of their own backyard tomatoes…I got mine at the farmers market, but the result is the same in either case — I got a little carried away scooping up these colorful beauties and I now need to eat them up at every meal. Not a bad problem to have.
what you’ll need for grilled cherry tomato toast
- colorful cherry tomatoes, the smallest you can find
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- small baguettes
- soft goat cheese
heirloom cherry tomatoes come in a rainbow of colors
I think cherry tomatoes are the best tomatoes. They have fantastic flavor, and they hold their own when you cook them. They might sputter and spit when they hit the hot grill, and might burst a seam or two, but basically they hold together, and get even more flavorful as they heat up. My favorites are the little heirlooms, at our farmers market they come in all shapes and colors. Each one has a distinctive flavor, too. They’re insanely good for snacking, and for scattering on salads, but if you can bear to save any for this dish, you’ll be glad you did. Grocery stores now sell these beauties in plastic clamshells, too, and they’re worth hunting down.
how to grill cherry tomatoes step 1
Just thread the tomatoes on slim bamboo skewers…mine were 8 inches long and quite thin, almost like long toothpicks. Heavier skewers will be too thick for tiny cherries. I kept the little tops on for fun, but you probably want to remove them, they look pretty but don’t taste good.
Brush them lightly with a good olive oil and vinegar marinade.
They cook up in a flash, I do mine in a grill pan on the stove. Leave them just until they get get a little color – it takes hardly any time at all for them to soften to perfection. If you want to do this on an outdoor grill, you’ll probably want to use a grill pan made for outdoor grills.
best bread for bruschetta
For the bread I use a small 12″ baguette. I look for one that’s fat enough so that there will be room to hold the toppings, and not too crusty so that it’s easy to bite into. I cut it in half, and then slice each half lengthwise to form 4 flat pieces, each about 6 inches long. I brush them with olive oil and grill them, cut side down, for just a minute or so, until they get nice grill marks.
The grilled bread gets slathered with a soft, fresh goat cheese. Any type will do, but I have fallen head over heels for this brand. It’s got a texture like nothing else I’ve ever tasted, and it spreads beautifully.
how to serve skewered tomato toast
Serve the toasts with the skewers, and ease your tomatoes off the skewer and onto the bread, they’ll slide right off. Spoon on a little more of the marinade over everything and let it soak down into the nooks and crannies of the bread. Scatter a palmful of fresh thyme over it all —- delicious. I like to crush a couple of the tomatoes to let their juices flow. The whole thing is a lovely experience, whether you eat it with your hands, or with a knife and fork. (Hands are actually easier.)
More cherry tomato recipes to try ~
- Easy Whitefish with Burst Cherry Tomatoes and Basil
- Loaded Tabbouleh Salad
- Lentil Salad Recipe with Cucumber and Mint
- How to Dry Cherry Tomatoes
- Bucatini with Burst Tomatoes
- Summer Tomato and Tuna Salad
Grilled Cherry Tomato and Goat Cheese Bruschetta
- 8 inch thin bamboo skewers
- Thread cherry tomatoes onto the bamboo skewers and set aside. Leave space at one end so you can handle them. Depending on the size of your tomatoes you might need 6 or 7 per skewer. Less if you are using larger cherry tomatoes.
- Blend the olive oil and vinegar together in a small jar. Taste to adjust the proportions if you like.
- Cut the baguette in half, and then slice each half lengthwise.
- Heat a grill pan over medium high heat until hot. Brush the cut side of each baguette with olive oil and place cut side down on the grill to toast. It won't take long, leave them just long enough to get nice grill marks. I like to press the bread down with a spatula to make good contact with the grill. Remove and set aside.
- Brush the tomato skewers with the marinade, and place them down on the hot grill. Let them cook for just a minute or two, rolling the skewer occasionally to cook them evenly, until they start to char and blister just a bit.
- Spread the goat cheese thickly on each piece of bread, and top with the tomatoes from two skewers. Gently slide the tomatoes off onto the bread. Drizzle with a little more marinade, and scatter with fresh thyme. Enjoy immediately.
- If you’re not a fan of goat cheese use cream cheese, mascarpone, Boursin, or any other soft spreadable cheese you love. Thin slices of mozzarella will work, too.
- Add some prosciutto or shrimp next time to make a complete meal.
- If you love garlic, rub a cut clove over the grilled bread before adding the cheese.
- Lay down a layer of fresh basil leaves over the goat cheese.