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Crostino with Fresh Thyme Roasted Tomatoes



4 Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4-6 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves removed
8 slices baguette, cut 1/2 inch-thick on the bias
1 clove garlic
¼ Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

Roughly chop the fresh thyme leaves. Place a cooling rack on a sheet pan. Place the tomatoes cut-side up on the rack. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and the fresh thyme. Roast approximately 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the tomatoes are very soft and slightly shrunken. Set aside.

Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes (watch carefully so as not to overcook). Rub the crostino with garlic clove and top each with a roasted tomato. Garnish with a little of the grated Parmesan cheese.
Note: the tomatoes can be roasted ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, warm them for a few minutes in the oven with the baguette slices.
Bettina Tolin is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas. She has cooked in the kitchens of the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, Florida. She is currently the Executive Chef and General Manager at Marcello’s Italian Restaurant and Bar in Port Isabel, Texas.
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