Blackened Tomato Canapés

Blackened Tomato Canapés

Well. Hello! I’ve missed you.

I’ve spent the last two years working in animal rescue, but it’s time to dust off the blog and get back in the kitchen. Today I have a super simple but delicious appetizer to share with you. It’s very nearly September and I am desperately clinging to the last gasps of summer. This might just be my favorite time of year; farmer’s markets are overflowing and I fall in love with ingredients I’ve taken for granted all over again.

Blackened Tomato Canapés

Case in point: the tomato.

This recipe was made for the late-summer haul of juicy, sweet, perfect tomatoes. Use tomatoes worthy of a spotlight. If you happen to be growing your own grape tomatoes (and your own basil!) than this has got your name all over it. It’s quick to prepare and tastes great at room temperature, so you can make a bunch and let your dinner party guests enjoy them at their leisure. Perhaps on a deck with a nice bottle of red? I don’t have a deck, and didn’t throw a party, so I won’t tell if you just make these for yourself as a light snack on a weekend afternoon. They are so easy you can absolutely make them without an occasion.

Blackened Tomato Canapés
Makes about 25 pieces

1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes
Around 7 Slices of Sourdough Bread
25 Basil Leaves
1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar (or prepared/purchased balsamic glaze)
Olive Oil
Sea or Kosher Salt
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

Start off by preparing the crostini. Arrange your oven racks so you have one at the very top and set your oven to Broil.

Prepping the Crostini

Slice the sourdough into bite-sized triangles. I like to cut the bottom crust off with a long chef’s knife (helps you get a nice clean edge) and create one big triangle. Slice that in half for two triangles, and each of those in half again. Each piece of bread should give you 4 small triangles. You can save the scraps to make your own breadcrumbs, or toss them to the birds.

Prepping the Crostini

Arrange the bread on a baking sheet and brush lightly on one side with olive oil.

Prepping the Crostini

Season generously with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. I like to go a little crazy with the black pepper, but if you don’t like its signature heat, you can ease up on it.

Seasoned Crostini

Broil for 2-4 minutes (watching constantly) until perfectly golden. Remove from oven and set aside. Do not walk away from these while they are in the oven or they will burn up!

Blackened Tomatoes

Now grab your cast-iron skillet and put it over high heat, very lightly oiled. You can make the tomatoes in a regular pan if you don’t have cast-iron, but a cast-iron pan is perfect for this application. Once the pan starts to smoke, add the tomatoes. Every 10 seconds or so, gently shake the pan to toss the tomatoes around. We are looking to char the skin a little while only lightly cooking the tomatoes.

Meanwhile, if you need to make your own balsamic glaze, add 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Reduce about 75%, until it becomes a thick glaze, being careful not to burn. Set aside when done. This takes about 10 minutes or less.

Blackened Tomatoes

The tomatoes are done when the skin is speckled with black char and begins to split. You are not making tomato sauce, so don’t overcook them until they are mushy. We want quick cooking over very high heat (about 5 minutes total) to add flavor but to keep the individual tomatoes whole.


Once all your ingredients are ready, begin assembly by placing a single basil leaf on each piece of crostini. I like to flip the leaf inside out to create a little boat for the tomato to sit in.

Blackened Tomato Canapés

Top each piece with a single tomato and drizzle the balsamic glaze over the top. If you did not salt the bread enough before baking, you may wish to add a little pinch of salt over the top, but taste it first to be sure!

That’s it! If you happen to have leftover tomatoes, they would be a wonderful addition to just about any recipe. I think they would be killer in pasta or chopped up as a salsa base.

Blackened Tomato Canapés


  1. Aleksandra

    Welcome Back! I have your cook book and we all love it at home. I was looking for something cooked today to eat and went to your site and voile! here you are! Yupii. :)

  2. Lauren

    Yay! I’m so, so glad you are back! Your cookbook really helped me come into my own as a vegan home cook, so I’m so happy you are blogging again!

  3. patty

    What a pleasant surprise! I’ve been using your recipes for the last two years and am so happy you are back blogging. Your recipes and photographs are the best.

  4. Ailene

    Oh, so good to see you back. I check in every now and then just to see if you are around, and WHAT a surprise to see you posting again. We have all had you in our thoughts these two years, because we care about you as a person as much as we care about you as a blogger. VeganYumYum never moved from spot #1 on my blog roll all that time. Thanks for all you give to our lives. Be well.

  5. Steph

    I was so happy to see your post pop up in my google reader. Your site (and book) are still my go to places for vegan recipes. As a matter of fact I’ve got a sourdough & eggplant lasagna in the oven right now. Can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store.

  6. Nick

    Yay, an update! So happy…

    You have no idea how much your book and your website have meant to me (a new Vegetarian with a long-term-vegan girlfriend). I’m so confident that your taste matches mine, that I can pull a recipe out and make it with absolute confidence that it’ll be perfect (although perhaps with a fraction less salt :)). Quite a few of your recipes have become household staples.

  7. Graciela

    Nice to see you´re back!!! I hope that you´ve returned to stay and keep posting :)
    Your recipes, post and photos are great.
    Now you know you have a follower in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

  8. adma

    OMG! I was just redirected here because of a recipe, and was thinking “oh, look, it’s that site that I used to love but doesn’t have life anymore” And then I see this post! yey! welcome back!

  9. Mariell

    So glad you are back! I have been flirting with veganism for a while now, and I feel its time to take it to the next level. Your blog is one I rely on for delicious vegan meals, and I have been “terrified” it would just one day disappear. Luckily its been here all the time, and now I am so much looking forward to learn more great recipes from you! :)

  10. CJ

    ZOMG I’m so excited you’re back! This website, book and iPhone app have pretty much defined my eating for the last three years and have made vegan eating fun, delicious and easy for me. Thanks for everything and can’t wait for the next phase.

  11. Tana

    Yesterday a new vegan in an online forum was asking for people’s favorite vegan websites and blogs, and I listed yours as one of mine. I started to write that it wasn’t kept current but contained a great archive of recipes, but then when copying and pasting the URL, I realized there was a new post! How exciting! Welcome back!

  12. Meaghan

    Yup, just adding my voice to the choir: hooray! (Looks like a bunch of us are grateful to Google Reader.) Looking forward to future yummy vegan recipes. And maybe a Boston vegan blogger meetup! Been meaning to coordinate that…

  13. Beth

    Yey! I’m so glad that you’re back! Vegan Yum Yum is one of my all time favorite cookbooks and I have missed having awesome new VYY recipes!

  14. Tiff

    This looks so fantastic! I love the recipe. I’ve been looking forward to being able to get my hands on some really delicious tomatoes this season & this seems like the perfect recipe. Welcome back!

  15. ria

    I’m glad you are back Lolo! Being vegan is just not the same without you. These look incredible. I am constantly looking to you for recipes and inspiration . . bought your book a few months ago and it’s extraordinary. Thanks so much!

  16. Rachel

    I have been waiting for this moment since I became a vegan. Your book is the best one I have, I gave copies to many friends and they love it. I’m just so happy that we’re gonna see more recipes from you. Thank you for being back!

  17. akgrrl

    Let me add to the chorus of “I’m sooooo glad you’re back!” I’ve been checking your website at least once a month for many months. You have been missed, and your return is bring celebrated! :-)

  18. Dean

    You’re back!!!! YAY!!!! You have, hands down, the best vegan blog on the web. I’ve always felt that, and still do. Glad to know you’re in better spirits and taking the time to get back to blogging! Congrats and WELCOME BACK!!!

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