Roasted cherry tomatoes with whipped ricotta & crispy capers

It’s tomato season hunnies! And when tomatoes are all sweet and juicy and delicious, don’t you just want to eat them ALL THE TIME? ‘Cos I do. I thought beautiful, sweet pops of warm roasted cherry tomatoes would pair beautifully with salty, crispy capers and cold, creamy ricotta, flecked with fresh lemon zest, oregano and parmesan, hence the birth of this dish. It’s a real heavenly combo and a proper taste of summer.

This is a really easy but impressive looking dish which means it’s great for a dinner party starter (served with focaccia for mopping it all up) or as part of a spread at a party or picnic. If you don’t eat it all on the day, the leftovers are great stirred through pasta.

Roasted cherry tomatoes with whipped ricotta & crispy capers

Serves 4 as a starter or side/part of a selection of dishes

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 25-30mins

600g cherry tomatoes (I used a mix of colours and types – bought half in sains and half in M&S, so check there. The latter half were a beaut box of Isle of Wight tomatoes)
1 fat garlic clove, sliced lengthways (quite thickly or it will burn)
olive oil
250g ricotta
approx 20g Parmesan, finely grated (to make 4 tbsp)
1 small lemon, zested
1 tsp oregano (finely chopped fresh oregano is best but dried works fine if not)
2 tbsp capers, drained
handful oregano or basil leaves

  1. Preheat oven to 180/160 fan. Put your cherry tomatoes in a roasting dish, scatter over the garlic slices and drizzle liberally with olive oil. Season with sea salt and black pepper then roast in the oven for 25-30 mins, until softened but still retaining their shape.
  2. In a bowl, beat the ricotta together with the oregano, Parmesan, lemon zest, 2 tbsp olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly to combine, then set aside in the fridge until the tomatoes are ready.
  3. To make the crispy capers, drain 2 tbsp capers and dry them on some kitchen paper (if you don’t they’ll really spit and pop when frying). Put 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan on a medium-high heat, then fry your capers for a few minutes until soft (they’ll still spit a bit so be careful). Once crisp, remove with a slotted spoon onto a couple more sheets of kitchen paper.
  4. When the tomatoes are nearly done, take a dinner plate and use a spoon or rubber spatula to spread the ricotta mix all over the base. Remove the tomatoes and garlic from the oven and carefully place them on top of the whipped ricotta using tongs or a slotted spoon. You can also spoon over some of the juices for extra flavour.
  5. Finally, sprinkle over some fresh oregano or basil leaves and served with fluffy focaccia.

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