CrockPot Tomatoes and Goat Cheese with Cranberry Balsamic Syrup

Day 151.

Happy Friday! Although Fridays are supposed to be margarita nights, you should scrap that plan and go get a nice bottle of red wine and the ingredients to make these stuffed tomato slices.

In your crockpot.

They are so good you will be tempted to say bad words.

The Ingredients.

--4 medium vine ripened tomatoes
--3 T balsamic vinegar
--log of goat cheese
--1/4 cup dried cranberries
--1/4 t kosher salt
--1/4 t black pepper
--1 T sesame oil ( I think this could be optional)

The Directions.

I used a 6qt oval Smart-Pot for this recipe. My tomatoes touched and some were on top of each other. If you are going to use a 4qt, put the tomatoes on top staggered a bit. They will turn out fine.

--Swirl the balsamic vinegar on the bottom of your crockpot.
--slice the tomatoes into thick slices
--slice the goat cheese. In the original recipe, Ming says to use dental floss. Our dental floss is either mint or bubble gum flavor, so I used a knife. It worked fine.
--put the goat cheese on top of the tomatoes and then add the tomatoes to the crock
--sprinkle your salt and pepper
--add the dried cranberries
--pour the 1 T of sesame oil evenly over the top of the tomatoes and goat cheese

cover and cook on high for 2 hours, or until the goat cheese is melty and the tomatoes are starting to pucker and look so good you have to eat them or you're going to freak out.

The Verdict.

Oh My Little Pony, these couldn't possibly be any better. I do think the sesame oil is optional---the balsamic and the juice from the tomatoes add enough moisture for the roasting to occur, and I could not taste the sesame flavor at all. If you don't have sesame oil, I think you could omit the oil fully or try a nice olive oil.

The kids loved these. I so wish they didn't, so I could have eaten them all myself. They were intrigued to try goat cheese for the first time, especially because they've been hearing about my friend Alison and her goat farm. Hi Alison! Goat cheese is like a nice, creamy, mild feta. I have found it at Trader Joe's and in the regular grocery store in the "nice cheese" case. If you wanted to, you could use feta for this dish, but I totally recommend trying the goat.

We ate them warm with our fingers, but they'd taste great on slices of french bread, probably.

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at May 30, 2008

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What they say about this article

  1. I really love your blog and I've many of your creations! This one looks like a winner and I'm gonna try it this weekend. If your dental floss is flavored you could use sewing thread. I'm assuming it's the same techinque as when you make cinnamon rolls and you put the tread under the "log" and then bring it around the top, cross over your thread and pull to slice it through. But a knife works fine since your not going for pretty and the cheese melts. Can't wait to try! Thanks

  2. Sounds wonderful. I'm definitely rethinking how I use my crockpot.

    By the way, if you only have flavoured dental floss, you can try thread. This trick also works nicely for slicing cakes horizontally when making layer cakes.

  3. thank you, Becca and Christie! this is such an amazing dish. I gobbled up the tomatoes cold the next morning for breakfast. I really should have taken the time to nuke them, they taste better warm.

    good idea about the thread. When I taught preschool, I'd always have a roll of floss on hand for cutting the air-dry clay. It worked wonderfully.


  4. "Oh, My Little Pony" I'm laughing so hard and already trying to think of ways I can say this in public everyday. =)

    These look HEAVENLY and I cannot wait to try them. I have feta but I'm going to go get some goat for these babies.

  5. Anonymous5/30/2008

    YUM! This is a very definite must-try.

    Asian sesame oil is VERY potent and can very quickly overwhelm all other flavors and therefore must be used sparingly - like in drops. 1T is a LOT for a 4 tomatoes! If the taste didn't come thru with that much, it could be the brand you have. The brand I use is Japanese - Shirakiku. It comes in smaller bottles and I store it in the fridge to extend shelf life - it gets rancid after while.

    Thanks for sharing this, Stephanie!

  6. Wow, this pregnant lady needs to stop reading your blog. Must have these now and can't.

  7. ah, Chi, thank you for sharing that about the sesame oil! I bought this bottle (probably at Trader Joe's) a few years ago. I'm pretty sure we moved with it... lol.

    I do keep in the fridge, but it most certainly isn't potent.

    thank you!

  8. those look divine..i love goat cheese!


  9. I am going to make this ASAP. I will use olive oil instead of sesame (just to mix it up) and goat cheese make me gag, so I'm thinking of using fresh mozzarella and serving with crispy baguette rounds.

    Thanks Stephanie!

  10. Anonymous6/02/2008

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  11. my little pony, lol!

  12. Anonymous6/12/2008

    Hello! I came across your blog recently. I LOVE it!! I saw this and just KNEW I had to make it, however, beside myself, only my 4 year old son likes tomatoes, but Im not sure he'd eat these. Well, they went to visit grandparents, and I had to stay home, so I made these, and OMG!! Im so glad noone else was home because I ate all of them! (over 2 days). I warmed them on the second day and put it on some great Italian bread as an open faced sandwich. Yummy!! Thank you so much! I check your blog almost daily for great ideas. Keep it up!!

  13. Anonymous6/12/2008

    oh ya, I wanted to say, I put the goat cheese in the freezer for about 20 or 30 min and it was easy to slice.

  14. corrina, thank you for reporting back! GREAT tip about the freezer for easy slicing!


  15. Trying them tonight with feta cheese and olive oil. Keeping my fingers crossed! Love, LOVE your blog!

  16. Wow -- these were great -- all three of us loved them and we are already planning when we will be making these again. Yours, however, were much prettier. Your photo looks the way mine looked BEFORE I put them in the crockpot. After two hours, there was a LOT of juice and the cheese kind of curded up (I think I made that expression up) -- but you know, the cheese kind of separated. This in NO WAY made them less delicious. We will make them again and again -- but if you have any suggestions for avoiding the cheese issue, let us know! :)

    Here's what ours looked like:

  17. Hi Lisa!

    Some Crock-Pots heat faster than others---I'm sorry your cheese curdled up. I saw your Flikr photo!!!! I don't have a Flikr account---I'm so glad that you enjoyed this recipe; it was one of my favorites.


  18. Wow, you're quick! Thanks!!! So, would you suggest heating the recipe for longer? or maybe cooking the tomatoes on medium, instead? You are truly the goddess of crockpotting and I defer to your wisdom. :)

    Thank you so much!

  19. These are so delicious... I could eat them every day.

  20. This was so delicious! I didn't add the oil on top as you said and it was great. Also, I used Roma tomatoes to make more bites (8 on the 1st layer and 4 on the top edges for 12 nice apps) and I used Feta, given it was much cheaper than goat cheese and it was YUMMY! I took a plate of crostini (that my Publix pre-cuts and toasts with olive oil for only $1.59 for a large bag: ) and placed the tomato bites on top = it was SOOO great! This is a great recipe for someone like me who is an entertainer, given I can free up my oven! Thanks so much. Today it is raining in FL,so I making your Shepherd's Pie, with only 1 cup/a thin layer of mashed potatoes...I hope it works out: )

  21. Anonymous6/01/2009

    FYI Feta cheese is made from goat milk. Or you can get it made from Sheep milk. It is normally made from Goats milk though...

  22. It was very good. Very soggy but very good. I only used 1/2 tsp sesame oil. And if I had it to do over I might use less balsamic too.

  23. Anonymous2/06/2011

    I just made these today and it was perfect for lunch. I put them in the crock after I got home from the gym and they were ready about 1.5 hours later. Since it was just for me, I halved the recipe and used my 4qt crock. I toasted a few slices of GF bread to eat with the tomatoes. This will definitely go into my 'easy to make' lunch rotation!

  24. We made this for my sister's bridal shower and it was the hit of the party! The only problem was that we didn't have enough!