Basil + tomatoes = the best summer combination! These bite-sized appetizers celebrate the freshness of these two tasty ingredients and are perfect for summer parties and barbeques. Make lots of these as they will disappear in a flash!
Servings: 20-25 tomatoes
Prep Time: 40 minutes | Cook Time: 0 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes (rainbow or regular red)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 cups basil leaves, whole
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Begin by hollowing out the tomatoes. Using a sharp paring knife, slice the bottom (round end) of the cherry tomato off so that the seeds are exposed. The side with the stem is more stable and the cherry tomato stands up much better on this side, but if it is lop-sided and the tomato doesn’t sit straight, slice off a few millimeters of the stem end so that it stands up straight.
Run your knife around the edges of the membrane and scoop out the seeds and inside membranes of the tomato. Do this carefully as to not cut through the other side of the tomato. You are essentially looking to make a “cup” to hold the pesto in. The first two or three might be difficult, but after those, you will get a hang of it! Continue to remove the seeds and membrane from the remainder of the tomatoes. Set the tomatoes aside for now.
Next, make the basil pesto. Add the almonds, Parmesan and garlic to the food processor and pulse the ingredients together, until the chopped almonds and cheese look to be the size of panko breadcrumbs.
Next, add the basil leaves, lemon juice and olive oil and pulse until smooth. You will need to scrape down the sides of the food processor as you go to make sure all the basil leaves get chopped up. Once the pesto is done, use a rubber spatula to scoop the pesto into a plastic Ziploc bag. Cut off the tip of one of the corners to create a piping bag- this makes it really easy to fill the tomatoes.
Pipe the pesto into each tomato, filling each tomato cup right to the top with the pesto. Arrange the filled tomatoes on a serving platter. You can also make these a day in advance and keep them wrapped up in plastic wrap in the refrigerator the day before your party. Serve cold from the refrigerator or at room temperature. Enjoy!