Maple Rosemary Roasted Tomatoes + Goat Cheese

Maple Rosemary Roasted Tomatoes + Goat Cheese

Happy December everyone! Today I'm sharing one of my favorite festive party appetizers. The original version of this recipe has been a staple in my cooking classes for quite some time. It consists of thick-cut, oiled and toasted bread that gets schmeared with goat cheese, and then topped with these gem-like tomatoes. It's a beautiful presentation, but can be quite time-consuming to assemble dozens of crostini when you're serving a large group. So, I decided to play with it a bit to make it more crowd-friendly for a 30 plus-person party that we attended over the weekend. 

In all honesty, I was in love with the original version of this recipe. But after trying this streamlined version, I'm now obsessed. Something magical happens when you combine the tomatoes and all their juices with a pan full of soft, creamy goat cheese. The flavors meld and the cheese becomes even silkier. Also worth noting, this was a hit at the party! Going forward, I'm going to ditch the crostini method (unless I'm making them for an over-the-top-fancy cocktail party) and will opt for this simplified, and arguably more delicious version instead.

Maple Rosemary Roasted Tomatoes + Goat Cheese
Serves a crowd

4 lb cherry or grape tomatoes
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6-8 sprigs rosemary
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper
2 large logs fresh goat cheese (11 oz each)
crackers or crusty bread, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large rimmed baking sheet with a couple layers of foil.

Toss tomatoes, maple syrup, olive oil, and rosemary together in a large bowl. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and pour onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread tomatoes into an even layer, and roast until caramelized and tender, about 1 hour. Note: After the first 30 minutes of cooking, increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees, then continue to cook for the remaining 30 minutes. This will help to caramelize the tomatoes and give them a rich, sweet flavor. Feel free to stir the tomatoes every so often while cooking.

Meanwhile, crumble goat cheese into a 9x13 rimmed baking dish or a deep pie plate. Press cheese into dish to form an even layer. When tomatoes are finished cooking, pour them and any liquid over the goat cheese. Most of the rosemary leaves will have fallen off while cooking, but don't forget to remove any whole rosemary stems.

You can serve the dip right away, or you can refrigerate it until ready to use. If making ahead, simply refrigerate after adding tomatoes, then reheat in a 350 oven until bubbling, about 15 minutes. Serve with your favorite crackers or crusty bread. 

What's your favorite dip to make for big parties?
Cheers! Alex

The Best Vegetable Frittata

The Best Vegetable Frittata

Fall Harvest Flatbread Pizza

Fall Harvest Flatbread Pizza