19 June 2011

Grilled Brie and Ciabatta Topped with Slow-Roasted Sunblushed Tomatoes for Dad

Grilled Brie and Ciabatta Topped with Slow-Roasted Sunblushed Tomatoes
As seen on Honest Cooking...Happy Fathers Day to all the adoring men in your life!!! I know you are all reflecting on the past and remembering all the good things about your dad and letting him know how much he is loved in your own small way. Almost every morning I speak to my dad (and my mom) on MSN, except of course during ski season when dad is on the slopes or when they are on holiday.  Even if we have nothing exciting happening in our lives, and very little to say, we support each other and listen to our daily routines as if we still lived under the same roof. They live in the East so with over 3,000 kilometers between us the Internet connects us and is a valuable and much needed start to our day. If we don't speak in the morning the stars seem misaligned and all is not right with the world.

Dad in Naramata/Dad and I

Now in their 80's mom and dad are an inseparable pair, doing everything together from hiking in the Peak and Lake Districts of their beloved England to hot air ballooning over Elora Gorge. The fact that they are still doing all of this at a ripe "older" age is a testament to their zest for life, vegetarian healthy diet and daily walks. With advancing age they can both say that neither of them take any type of medication,(except mom does take drops for her glaucoma and macular degeneration and dad has hearing aids he cannot be without, the result of working in a noisy environment for many years). It is really quite a highlight of my day for many reasons talking to them both on the Internet while getting ready for work before the sun is even a glimmer in the morning sky, one being the "eyes" and the other the "ears" in the conversation!

Dad in Malaysia/Dad in the Lake District

So to honour all the men in our lives I have chosen to create a barbecued appetizer of grilled brie with a roasted tomato topping served with plenty of grilled bread to please the carb lovers in your life.

While you're puttering around your house this weekend, tuck a pan of tomatoes in the oven, come back several hours later, and have a peak. They will add a whole new dimension of flavour to your appetizer! Not only does slow-roasting concentrate and caramelize the intense flavour of cherry tomatoes, but it also gives them a meatier, more robust texture. The roasted tomatoes become versatile ingredients, perfect for tossing into pasta or salads, layering on sandwiches, or just using as a terrific side dish for grilled or roasted meats. Of course they are perfect served with grilled bread with some grilled brie oozing over each and every nook and cranny. This is a different type of a grilled cheese sandwich! I can't guarantee you will not have any left over so roast a double batch. They keep in the refrigerator for a week (or longer, if you can manage not to eat them all first), and you can freeze them, too. A bonus is the lovely tomato-infused olive oil left over after roasting; drizzle it over grilled vegetables or on the crusty bread for this appetizer, or use it in a vinaigrette.

Dad at home/Dad in the British Army

The technique is simple...spread them in one layer on a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and herbs, and coat generously in olive oil. Roast slowly until the tomatoes are a deep, rich brown and very collapsed. You can certainly use this method this time of year on less-than-ripe tomatoes that you would otherwise use as ping pong balls. As the days get longer more and more local garden produce is becoming available but we may need to wait just a little longer for sun-ripened tomatoes. Be patient and roast your babies instead. They will remind you of sun-kissed summer days to come, and they will have intense flavour perfect for this appetizer.

 If you're looking for a new grilling idea for cheese, walk the plank! I found some very inexpensive cedar, maple and alder wood planks at a local grocery store each of which imparts their own unique,delicious smoky flavour. Plank grilling infuses food and requires little supervision, so you can spend  more time with dad and the rest of the family. For this recipe you can use one large brie for one communal appetizer or individial brie for a personal touch for each guest. Serve with garlic ciabatta bread and top all with roasted tomatoes and your dad with continue to adore you!!!!

This is my entry for Get Grillin’ with Marla of Family Fresh Cooking and Dara of Cookin’ Canuck, sponsored by Ile de France Cheese, Rösle, Emile Henry, Rouxbe and ManPans.” This week it was sides, so join the party!

On a gorgeous day like today dad deserves the very best!!!

 **Grilled Brie and Ciabatta Topped with Slow-Roasted Sunblushed Tomatoes**
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh chilies
  • 6 mini wheels or three 4.5 oz wheels of brie cheese, at room temperature
  •  cedar plank
  • 1 Baguette (French Bread), pide (flat Turkish bread) or ciabatta loaf
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • Sublushed tomatoes, recipe follows
1. Soak an untreated cedar plank (available at grocery, cookware and hardware stores) in water overnight. Preheat the grill to high and place the wet plank on the grate.  Heat the plank until smoking and burning on the bottom at the edges, about 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, whisk the olive oil in a large bowl with the lemon zest, garlic and chilies. Add cheeses to the bowl and coat with the mixture. Let stand for 15 minutes.

3. Slice the baguette, pide or ciabatta and toast pieces over a barbecue grill rack. As they are done rub them, one at a time, with a whole garlic clove. Season with a little sea salt, then stack them one on top of the other and set aside.

4. Arrange the cheeses on top of the plank. Drizzle with any remaining marinade. Cover the grill and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the cheeses are swollen and ready to burst. Remove the plank from the grill using tongs and let stand for 5 minutes.  Serve the cheeses on the plank with grilled ciabata. To eat, make a shallow cut on top of cheese and party peel back skin. Dunk bread in melted cheese and go for it! Serve with Sunblushed tomatoes

*Tip: If grilling isn’t possible, lay cheese on a parchment-lined tray. Bake in a preheated 375˚F oven for 3 to 5 minutes.

Serves 6

**Sunblushed Tomatoes**
makes about 1 cup (can easily be multiplied, though)
  • 250g (1/2 lb) fresh cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
1. In early morning, reheat your oven to its top temperature. Remove the stems from the tomatoes and cut larger ones in half  along their equator. Place cut side up in an ovenproof dish.

2. Mix together the salt, thyme, oregano and sugar and sprinkle over the top of the tomatoes. Drizzle over the olive oil and put in the oven.

3. Immediately, turn the heat down to somewhere in the region of 165-200°F. This isn’t an exact science, and will depend on how long you want to wait for your tomatoes... the lower the temperature, the longer it will take but more flavourful they will be.

4. Cook for 2-3 hours, until the tomatoes are soft and fragrant. They should lose their raw look, but not be charred. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. What amazing post Valli! your dad is amazing! and I love BRIE is my favorite cheese, always! This look absolutely delicious!! Huggs gloria

  2. This is a winner! What awesome parents you have. They must be so proud of you

  3. This is the summer of new grilling ideas! I've never thought of brie!

  4. Forget dad...this meal was made for me! Kidding. Sort of. I love your photos in this post (of dad & the food), but I am in serious need of some grilled brie right this minute!

  5. A lovely tribute.

    That recipe is fantastic! Grilled Brie is just so good and on ciabatta it must be terrific.



  6. Gorgeous appetizer! You're so lucky to still have your dad in your life. I'm sure mine would have loved this combination of flavors.

  7. You're right, I am very lucky, but then we are all lucky to have had these amazing men in our lives.

  8. We should be getting better tomatoes soon, but for now the ones we have will do nicely in dishes like this one. I'm happy to have some new grilling ideas. Thanks, Val.

  9. OMG, can I have this for dinner tonight - it looks amazing! Thanks for linking this recipe up to Get Grillin' :)

  10. That oozing brie looks delicious but, more than that, I loved reading about your parents and your daily connection to them. Sounds like you come from good genes!

  11. Your parents are so awesome! I love how active they are!

    These brie toasts sound amazing...whether you're a dad or not!

  12. Beautiful post Val...a great tribute and a lovely ciabatta recipe!

  13. You had me at grilled brie... and slow roasted tomatoes.. oooh all my favorites things. Your parents sound adorable :-)

  14. Val that looks really lovely! Great post too - as always.

  15. what a great homage to your pop! i love the pictures you've shared, and for the record, this is one of the finest grilled cheese sandwiches i've ever seen. :)

  16. Oh look at that melty Brie... SWOON!! Your dad is a lucky man :) Love that you speak every morning - that's a wonderful connection to treasure.

  17. Hi Val! What Dad wouldn't love your appetizer?
    Really enjoyed reading about your father, hope he had a wonderful Father's Day.

  18. AnonymousJune 20, 2011

    I just happened to come across your blog and so glad I did... The picture of the melting cheese is making me hungry..beautiful post and lovely pictures...


  19. I could eat just this for dinner or lunch and be totally content!

  20. What a lovely appetizer, Val. Your Dad would love it. He is a fine looking "older" man and I'm sure he'll love your tribute to him. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  21. How great that your parents are so healthy at this point in their lives -- and so active. Models of excellence for us all. Roasted tomatoes are a fave, and you've paired them so beautifully with the other ingredients in this yummy recipe. Gorgeous photo, too!

  22. That looks fabulous Val! What a handsome father you have, obviously there's something to be said about eating our veggies!

  23. That photo of the oozing brie is what caught my eye...never tire of melted brie...smear it on practically anything!

  24. That's wonderful that you speak to your father every day! What a delicious-looking treat. I love ooey-gooey brie on toast!

  25. I hope years from now my husband and I are the same way and don't lose our taste for exploration and adventure. Glad Dad had a happy father's day.

    Your toasts look so good. Great combination of flavors - as always. You really can't go wrong with any of it!

  26. I haven't had some melted, gooey Brie since the holidays. This looks so wonderful, Vali! I love your tribute to both of your parents!

  27. The brie and ciabatta are really tempting, but what I really love is how you talk about your dad so lovingly.

  28. another winner here!


  29. i've never grilled brie! oh my gosh. i must do this.

  30. Oh gosh, Val, this looks so incredible. If there is anything better than grilled cheese, I think it might be grilled bread. And slow-roasted tomatoes, too? *Swoon*

  31. What a lovely post Val, I just hope I am as active when I reach my 80s. What a testiment to healthy living.

    Grilled brie! Why haven't I tried this, it is so obvious. I have grilled or baked camembert many times, but never thought of brie.

  32. love this post and anything with brie is right up my alley!

  33. Val - I love this post and I love that you talk to your parents every day. What a special gift!


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