Last night, dinner was taking longer than planned, so I needed a quick appetizer that I could quickly put together to fend-off starvation. I had some cherry tomatoes on hand, as well as some frozen vegan pesto, so I decided to combine the two.
I originally thought of slicing the tomatoes in two and placing the pesto on top, but then decided to use the tomatoes as little cups.
First, I had to get the little guys to stand still. They were rolling all over the place, and that would be a disaster once filled with delicious pesto! I used a sharp pairing knife to remove a small piece of flesh from the bottom of each of the tomatoes, to flatten them out and make them sit upright. I then cut the top and hollowed-out the first half of each tomato. This takes a little while, but if you have a pointy sharp knife, it should be fairly easy.
From there, I defrosted 1 cube of pesto in the microwave for 30 seconds, and mashed it up with an equal part of firm tofu. I decided to mix the tofu in there, because I felt that the pesto would be too pungent on its own.
1 cube of frozen pesto (with tofu) made about 10 cherry tomatoes worth of appetizers. I placed them on a long plate, and drizzled them lightly with basil-infused olive oil. The result was a cheerful appetizer that burst with the flavors of fresh tomatoes and fresh (frozen) pesto. Yum! I think next time, I may decorate each tomato with a lightly toasted pine-nut…
I called my mom up today to tell her about these, and she said that she used to fill cherry tomatoes with guacamole for dinner parties years ago. Although I don’t specifically remember her doing that, I guess I must have remembered this little trick subconsciously. I like the idea of using avocado as a filling, especially for the summer. I ended-up doing a bit of research after our call and came across this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens for avocado pesto-stuffed tomatoes, which combines both our ideas. I’ll definitely have to try that next time!
Anyway, I thought this was a cute little appetizer, and as you can see, the concept is pretty versatile so you can have fun and be creative with it. Enjoy!