Recipe By: Laura Lorenz
Serves: See Note*
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
1 head of garlic (each individual clove peeled)
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme (do not even have to take the leaves off)
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 ½ cups + ½ c of extra virgin olive oil (the ½ c is for basil oil)
1 cup fresh basil leaves
Fresh burrata cheese (I used 2 balls)
Crusty bread (toasted or grilled optional)
Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. In a shallow baking dish add the tomatoes, garlic, 1 ½ cups of oil, thyme, and ¼ tsp of kosher salt. Place in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 2 ½-3 hours. Once finished baking, the tomatoes should be fully caramelized, and the garlic browned but not burnt. If needed, add another 30 minutes to the cooking time (the size of the tomatoes, along with every oven being a little different can alter the cooking time slightly).
While your tomatoes and garlic are baking, prepare the basil oil. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil to blanch the basil*. Have an ice bath ready to go (large bowl with ice water). Once the water is boiling, add the basil and cook for 30 seconds. Then take the basil and place it in the ice bath for at least 1 minute. Once the basil is cool, drain all the water out by squeezing it between a towel (you do not want it wet when mixing with the oil because then the sauce will separate). Next, in a blender (or using an immersion blender) add the basil, ½ cup of oil, and a pinch of salt, and blend on high until smooth.
Take your burrata and set it out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes prior to serving (this will result in the center being very creamy). On your serving plate place burrata, toasted bread, and tomato and garlic confit, then drizzle the basil oil on top.
*This is an appetizer or side dish so serving sizes will vary. This roughly feeds 4 people as an appetizer
*Blanching the basil ensures a bright green oil as the finished product
*The oil left in the pan after cooking the tomatoes is delicious, do not discard it. Strain and store in a jar. Use in salad dressings, as a bread dipping oil, or even drizzled on top of grilled vegetables