cherry tomato vinaigrette and gorgonzola bruschetta

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Dear shrink, I’m… wondering if I can now be qualified for that zoloft + xanax prescription we talked about last time, you know, and let’s throw in a couple of diazepam for good measure while we’re at it?  I assure you that I have no previous record of substance abuse, in fact, I hardly drink alcohol for God sake, oh why because I’m naturally fun.  But you see, it’s my kids… my kids who are competing in a race to my emotional hell by turning rotten-sick on me one after the other.  Oh HELL, it’s even making me babble uncontrollably about it on my food-blog, right, a FOOD-blog that’s supposed to be about escaping to gastronomic neverland,  not… Anderson Pooper on real world shit…  Damn it!  What the hell am I talking about, you see?  I need meds!

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I thought I’d be in no state for business in the kitchen and even put out a disclaimer about it last time but turned out, it sorta became my emotional refugee, you know… to distract my mind from eating itself alive from constant nerve-wrecking speculations.  And after swallowing bags of sodium-loaded instant noodles with big dollops of anxiety and sadness, we finally sat down for a mood-elevating meal.  For the first time in the past few days which felt like a million years, things felt slightly endurable.  Humph, deliciousness can do that.  You should really prescribe it for that guy at the reception stroking a coconut.  He looks like he could really use it.

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But having said that, don’t even mistake for a split second that I’m dropping the pill-talk.  To put it mildly just because I know you like your donuts with sugar, the last one and a half days were nothing short of a carnival of meltdowns, and soon in a couple of days, we’ll fly together to another city for the use of more advanced medical equipments.  Just mentally rehearsing it tickles my urge to drop into a coma and wake up when all this is over.  So, dear shrink.  Give me those God damned pills.  These bruschetta will repay you generously in satisfaction.  See you in next session.

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Servings: 7 ~ 9 bruschetta

The red cherry tomatoes have beautiful-coloured flesh under their skin.  The yellow tomatoes… not so much.  Without the vibrantly yellow jackets, they are more like pale yellowish green.  So to restore their colour, the yellow tomatoes are tossed and “dyed” with turmeric olive oil for a few minutes before joining the red cherry tomatoes in the vinaigrette.  You don’t have to do this but it really helps their colour pop.

Ingredients:

  • Cherry tomato vinaigrette: adapted from Bon Appetite
    • 350 grams of red cherry tomatoes
    • 350 grams of yellow cherry tomatoes
    • 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 tsp of ground turmeric
    • Vinaigrette:
      • 3 cloves of garlic, paper-thinly sliced
      • 1 1/2 medium shallots, very finely minced
      • 2 tsp of sea salt
      • 1 tsp of chili flakes
      • 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
      • 2 tbsp of white wine vinegar
      • 1 tbsp of lime juice
      • 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
      • 2 tbsp of finely diced chives
  • Gorgonzola bachamel sauce:
    • 1 tbsp of unsalted butter
    • 1 1/2 tbsp of all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup of whole milk
    • 110 grams of creamy gorgonzola cheese
    • 1/4 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/8 tsp of freshly ground nutmeg
    • Salt to taste
  • 1 loaf of rustic country bread

Make the cherry tomato vinaigrette:  Preheat the top-broiler on high.

After washing the cherry tomatoes, scatter them on a large sheet pan.  Place the pan on the upper-rack in the oven, about couple of inches under the broiler, and scorch the tomatoes until every skin has split open.  Remove from the oven and let them cool down until enough to handle.  Mix together 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil and ground turmeric, and set aside.  Start peeling the yellow cherry tomatoes first (the skins should remove easily), and add the peeled tomatoes to the turmeric olive oil as you go.  After you’re done with all the yellow cherry tomatoes, give them a thorough toss to make sure every single one of them is evenly coated in turmeric oil, and let them sit for a few minutes while you peel the red tomatoes.

Add all the peeled red cherry tomatoes and the yellow tomatoes in a large bowl, or sheet pan.  Mix together thinly sliced garlic, minced shallots, sea salt, chili flakes, ground black pepper, white wine vinegar, lime juice and extra virgin olive oil, then pour the vinaigrette over the tomatoes.  Toss to make sure they are evenly coated, then let them sit in the fridge to marinate for at least 3 hours, turning and tossing them occasionally.  Right before serving, add the chives to combine.

Make the gorgonzola bachamel:  Melt butter in a small sauce pot over medium heat, then add flour and saute for a couple of min.  Add the whole milk and keep whisking until the mixture comes to a simmer and starts to thicken up.  Break up gorgonzola cheese into small chunks and add the the milk mixture, along with ground black pepper and ground nutmeg.  Stir and simmer until the gorgonzola has melted.  Adjust the taste with salt.

To serve:  Slice bread into 1/2″ thick and toast under broiler until golden browned on each side.  Spoon the gorgonzola sauce over on top, then lots of marinated cherry tomatoes and a couple tsp of the vinaigrette.  Sprinkle with some sea salt and chives.

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