Today’s super easy twist features grilled tomatoes on a crusty baguette. It’s ideal if you’re in need of a quick appetizer or side dish.
The original recipe was paired with grilled chicken as an option. But you can serve these with any main dish or alone as passed appetizers.
You can drizzle it with olive oil, balsamic glaze and even pesto. Or try all three. And since basil is cropping up in many gardens, you can use some extra leaves as a garnish.
When selecting the fresh mozzarella, you can buy a log and slice it yourself. Some stores also carry pre-sliced logs. You can also buy a container of small orbs, which typically come in cherry size or pearl size. For this recipe, use the cherry size. The cherry size is also sold marinated, which will work in this recipe.
Making crostini, little toasts, is one of the easiest parts of this recipe. For easier slicing, put the baguette in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes. Always use a serrated knife so you get even slices.
You can grill the bread slices a day or two in advance. Store them in a plastic bag and give them a quick warm up on the grill. With the tomatoes, it’s best to grill them in the foil packet not too far from serving time. While tomatoes will get juicier as they sit, you run the risk of them become mushy.
If you’re drizzling on balsamic glaze or pesto, you can make your own or buy it. Most grocery stores now have good quality brands of both.
I highly recommend having balsamic glaze as a standard pantry ingredient. The glaze is boiled down balsamic vinegar that has an intense, sweet flavor. A small drizzling of the glaze goes a long way and with a variety of dishes — especially grilled foods.
Serves: 6 / Preparation time: 10 minutes / Total time: 40 minutes
2 pints grape tomatoes, washed
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing on the bread
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 baguette (16 ounces)
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (marinated if desired)
6 ounces thinly sliced fresh mozzarella
1/2 bunch freshly chopped basil leaves
Balsamic glaze, optional
Preheat the grill to medium-high.
Place the tomatoes on a large piece of heavy-duty foil. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat. Bring up the edges of the foil, making a packet. Grill about 15-18 minutes or until the tomatoes burst. Remove from the grill, put tomatoes and any juices into a bowl and set aside. Cover and keep warm.
Meanwhile, slice the baguette into about 12-14 slices on the diagonal. Brush with oil and grill about 4-5 minutes or until browned. Remove from the grill.
If grilling chicken, place it on the grill for about 7 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness, until completely cooked through.
Top each bread slice with sliced mozzarella, a spoonful of tomatoes, a grind of freshly ground black pepper and chopped basil.
Serve as an appetizer while the chicken is grilling or serve with the chicken.
From and tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
Analysis includes 1 chicken breast and 2 crostini.
507 calories (28 percent from fat), 16 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 47 g carbohydrates, 42 g protein, 864 mg sodium, 98 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber.