Roasted Cherry Tomato & Goat Cheese Crostini + 2 Favorite Thai-inspired Soups


For a blast of bright August flavor on a frigid January day, try roasting tomatoes. Baking or roasting transforms the winter tomato, minimizing the mealy texture and maximizing their sweet flavor.

Last weekend I concocted the recipe below, and brought the appetizer (pictured above) to a party. I saved time by having the baker slice the baguette and purchasing pre-made Olive Tapenade from Trader Joe’s. (If you live near one of their stores, get the tapenade that’s found in their refrigerated section, not their shelf-stable product.)

Roasting other vegetables, such as cauliflower or Brussels Sprouts or broccoli, and incorporating them into recipes conjures the same magic.


Tomorrow I wave goodbye to the tundra heading off with my man for a month in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.

After a couple of days in trains, airports and planes (we’re saving a ridiculous amount of money flying out of Chicago instead of Detroit), the ninety degree temps will be a wake-up call to my weary wintry soul.

My favorite part about traveling is experiencing the food–the ideal gateway to the people and their culture. Food is so easy. Who can be offended when you approach to inquire, “Do you have any suggestions where I can eat?” It’s the starting  point for many interesting conversations. Can’t speak the language? So what. Food is multilingual. Restaurant owners will love, perhaps even invite you into their backstage world,  if you appreciate their food with smiles and thumbs up gestures.

Most of the time will be spent traveling up Viet Nam, the last spot, Hanoi, where we’re spending a week. The city’s a culinary paradise fusing flavors from France, China and Viet Nam. You can believe I’ve been scrutinized the street food and restaurant scene online. I’m wary of Trip Advisor as some of the higher starred places tend to be Asian cooking adapted to the American palate, but this Food Republic site’s been worthy. Scrutinizing their site and the links, I feel as if I’m studying for the Bar (-:

Thai Green Curry Shrimp and Broccoli Soup

Thai Green Curry Shrimp and Broccoli Soup

As scorching as it can be in Southeast Asia, it’s remarkable how insanely popular their hot soups are–the locals eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Something about the heat of the broth and spice that cools you down as you slurp. Whatever. All I know is that for my money, these folks have cornered the market on soup.

I last travelled in Thailand several years back and made a couple of soups–a curried shrimp and a chicken upon my return to the States.

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Unless you live in the vicinity of a Pho House or other Asian eatery, they share little resemblance  to the USA versions of winter soups–those that you would find lining grocer’s shelves or steaming on a hot bar.

If inclined, give the recipes a try. The fresh lemongrass, coconut milk, fish sauces and chili’s may very well cure what ails you.

Be well, my friends, and remember to wash your hands often! The flu bug is vicious this year.

Recipe: Crostini with Roasted Tomatoes and Goat Cheese


  • 1 pint red cherry tomatoes, washed
  • 1 pint orange or yellow cherry tomatoes, washed
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • 8 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Handful of fresh basil, thinly sliced into a chiffonade


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Toss tomatoes and garlic cloves in 1-2 tablespoon olive oil. Slightly season with kosher salt. Place on foil-lined baking sheet (covering garlic entirely in foil) and roast on middle rack of oven 13-15 minutes or until tomatoes are just beginning to collapse.

3. Meanwhile, spread goat cheese over 18-22 baguette slices.

3. Whisk balsamic vinegar into a tablespoon of olive oil. Chop garlic and stir into vinaigrette. When tomato are cool enough to handle, toss into vinaigrette.

4. Place one red and one yellow or orange tomato on each baguette. (You will have extra tomatoes and juice, which can be reserved for a quick pasta sauce.) Center a small dollop of tapenade in between the two tomatoes on each crostini; arrange basil chiffonade over crostini and serve.

Roast time: 13-15 minutes

Assembly time: 15 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 18-22 pieces

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

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