HS: You can absolutely roast the tomatoes ahead of time if needed. Keep them in a jar covered in oil. Drain before continuing with the recipe.
2 pounds / 1 kg tomatoes ( a mix of small heirlooms & cherry tomatoes), halved
1/4 cup / 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar or maple syrup
couple pinches of fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup toasted almond slices
2 tablespoons capers, fried in a bit of oil
6 oz good mozzarella, torn into chunks
a handful of torn lettuce leaves
generous drizzle of lemon olive oil or chive oil*
chive (or herb) flowers or minced chives, to serve
To start, you’re going to roast about 1/2 of the tomatoes – as I mention up above, preferably a mix of cherry and heirlooms. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), and adjust the oven rack to the top third of the oven. Toss the tomatoes you will be roasting gently (but well) in a bowl along with the olive oil, sugar, and salt. Arrange them in a single layer, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, without stirring, until the tomatoes shrink a bit and start to caramelize around the edges, 45 to 60 minutes. Set aside to cool.
When ready to serve, gently toss the roasted and raw tomatoes with a bit of chive or lemon oil, most of the almonds, the capers, the mozzarella, and the lettuce. Taste and season with a bit more salt if needed. Serve topped with the remaining almonds, and any herb flowers you might have.
Serves 4 – 6 as a side.
*To make chive oil, use a food processor to puree 1/4 cup chopped chives with 1/2 cup / 120 ml good olive oil. Stir in another 1/4 cup finely chopped chives by hand. Season with sea salt to taste.