Thursday, May 16, 2013

Baked Goat Cheese “Caprese” – Hot and Not

No salad will break your heart like the “Caprese.” It always sounds great; creamy mozzarella, fragrant basil, and sweet, juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes…what’s not to love? Well, false advertising for one. With very few exceptions, the tomatoes used on these Caprese salads are not sweet, juicy, ripe tomatoes; they’re the opposite.

They’re almost always your standard, conventionally produced, picked green and left to redden (not ripen) in the case, tomatoes. They’re mealy, flavorless, and completely undeserving of being paired with ingredients as perfect as mozzarella and basil.

While I’m invariably disappointed by the execution of this classic salad, I do love the combination of flavors, and by using cherry tomatoes, I thought it would translate perfectly for a baked goat cheese appetizer. Did it ever. When you take into consideration the taste, appearance, and ease of preparation, there’s a real chance this could become your new favorite summer appetizer.

By the way, as long as you are using high quality, oven safe ramekins, you can also do these on the backyard grill. Place a piece of foil on the grates, set down your ramekins, close the cover, and cook until the juices are bubbling, and the cheese is heated through.

I hope you give this delicious, and so not disappointing “Caprese” a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 portions:
8 oz log fresh goat cheese, cut into 4 equal pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp basil chiffonade
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
freshly ground black pepper and cayenne, to taste
*bake at 400 degrees F. for about 15 minutes

View the complete recipe

14 comments:

kathdedon said...

This is a brilliant idea, John!

mattjeast said...

Had to look up whether or not spliff was an actual culinary term. I am mildly disappointed.

Chef John said...

You must not know many line cooks. ;)

Berit said...

Any ramekin recommendations?

I really want to eat this now. And 3x per week all summer.

AcceptMe said...

Next up: soft pretzels, please!

AcceptMe said...

Next up: soft pretzels, please!

Eric Timm said...

Hi Chef...

I have always made salad caprese with a generous splash of balsamic vinegar. I will make this dish as you posted, but in your opinion, would this add to or detract from this appetizer?

Thanks!

rancholyn said...

Made this last night for company...everyone loved it!

Thanks

Bob Hope said...

Can you use Mozzarella Cheese instead of Goat cheese?

Chef John said...

you can, but totally different texture.

Damon said...

That difference between the theoretical beauty of the salad and the actual salad you always get in restaurants is an eternal disappointment for me, because I'm too dumb to remember that all the others I got always sucked.

Kyle Hotte said...

Made this tonight and it was amazing!!!

CAROLYN said...

So awesome, did this for lunch the other day at work in a toaster oven! YUMMAY!

world and food said...

Awesome!!! I have already incorporated this dish to my favorite lunch meal.