Today’s recipe comes from Mike Halbert, executive chef at Big Cedar Lodge near Branson, Mo. Big Cedar — and nearby Dogwood Canyon — was a longtime host of the Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge, and this year the resort has opened three new restaurants, including the Osage and accompanying Buffalo Bar. Halbert’s take on a simple bruschetta using heirloom tomatoes and watercress is particularly timely as the ripe fruits are just starting to show up at farmers markets around the country.
Wood Roasted Ozark Tomato Bruschetta
– Heirloom tomatoes
– Extra virgin olive oil
– Crusty baguette
– Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
– Top of the Rock Balsamic Finishing Sauce
– Salt and pepper
1. Cut the tomatoes into wedges and dress lightly with olive oil, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Arrange the wedges onto a rimmed baking sheet and place them into a wood oven at 600 to 700 degrees. (If you’re using a regular oven, pre-heat the broiler to the highest temperature.) Once the tomatoes pick up a little char and soften slightly, remove them from the oven.
2. Cut the baguette into slices on an angle and grill to lightly char.
3. While the bread and tomatoes are still hot, place the bread on a plate and top with the tomatoes. Sprinkle with the shaved cheese and some balsamic finishing sauce, then top with some watercress dressed with olive oil and salt.