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Goat Cheese Pomodoro with Olive Tapenade on Focaccia and Arugula

So far, Barbara is batting 1,000 in our kitchen.  Here is another inspiration from STIR:

This dish was soooo amazing (like, bread soppin’, spoon lickin’ amazing) and literally took me only 30 minutes from the time I started, until it landed on the table.  AJ and I enjoyed this as our dinner last night but I would also serve this as an app for company or on a holiday buffet spread.  The recipe calls for everyday ingredients that, when prepared simply, result in an impressive WOW factor!  *I was actually going to wait until next summer when tomatoes are back in season before making this, but I eyed some beautiful greenhouse tomatoes yesterday that smelled like the vine so I thought, “Heck, let’s go!”


For the Goat Cheese Pomodoro~

6-8 medium tomatoes, peeled (if you find them attached to the vine, leave it- it’s cool looking)

8-10 oz cheese (I had about 8 oz of goat left over from a party- but use whatever mix you have kickin’ around ie this is a great use for left over nubs from a holiday cheese plate)

2 Tbs heavy cream (only if you are using hard cheese to loosen up the mix when you place it in the oven)

1 pinch each of sea salt, fresh cracked pepper and granulated sugar

1 Tbs good olive oil

For the Olive Tapenade~

1 cup olives (I used tasty, pitted kalamata olives from the antipasto bar at the grocery store)

1/4 cup olive oil

Focaccia or Ciabatta, sliced very thin

For the Arugula~

2 handfuls baby arugula

2 Tbs good olive oil

1 Tbs balsamic

Pinch Sea Salt, Cracked Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 325

  1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a bowl and prepare a bowl of ice water.  To peel the tomatoes, score an X on the bottom of each tomato with a pairing knife and place in the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove promptly with a strainer and plunge into the ice water bath. 

The tomato skin should pucker and slide off easily with a pairing knife.  

Save the tomato skins! (You can fry them in olive oil and use them as garnish with a little sea salt- C’mon…it takes 2 minutes *tops* and they become impressive little chips!

  1. Place peeled tomatoes on cookie sheet and sprinkle with sea salt, cracked pepper, a pinch of granulated sugar and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes.

  1. Meanwhile, crumble cheese in an 8″ gratin dish and set aside.

  2. Place Olives and Oil in a Cuisine Art and puree for 1 minute or until smooth.  (What you don’t use tonight will keep well for over a month in the fridge in an air tight container covered with a thin layer of olive oil.)

  3. Fry the tomato skins in a small pan with 2 Tbs olive oil and garnish with sea salt.  Let drain on a paper towel before serving. Save the left over oil.

  1. Pull the tomatoes from the oven and gently lay them in the bed of cheese.  Drizzle with the left over olive oil from the tomato skins (about 1-2Tbs) and sprinkle with a little extra salt and pepper.  Place back in the oven for 10+ minutes.

  1. Meanwhile, toast the thin slices of focaccia, spread with olive tapenade, garnish with fried tomato skins and plate.

  2. Toss freshly washed and spun Arugula with olive oil and balsamic and plate- the fried tomato skin looks really pretty on the green arugula- can you tell that I really want you to experience fried tomato skins!

  3. Pull the Goat Cheese Pomodora from the oven, plate and serve- make sure you include spoons!  The tomatoes cut smoothly with your spoon and the juice is amazing.  

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