Basil is plentiful in backyard gardens this time of year. If you’re fortunate to have basil growing in pots or a vegetable garden, you can make this pesto filling and freeze it in batches and thaw when needed. These pesto-stuffed cherry tomatoes make a colorful and tasty appetizer to go with drinks or as part of a buffet. I made them recently for a dinner party, and my guests were delighted with how tasty they were. It’s important to use good grated cheese. For the parmesan, I recommend Reggiano-Parmigiano , and for the pecorino, I recommend Locatelli Pecorino Romano. Serves 8-10 as an appetizer.
1 lb. cherry tomatoes
For the Pesto
1 cup fresh basil
3-4 cloves garlic
4 tbsp. pine nuts
1 tsp. salt
7 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
6 tbsp. freshly grated pecorino cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
- Wash the tomatoes and cut in half. Carefully take out seeds and discard.
- Place the basil, garlic, pine nuts, salt and olive oil in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Remove the contents to a bowl with a rubber spatula. If desired, the pesto may be frozen at this point, before the cheeses are added. For later use, thaw, then proceed to step 3.
- Fold in the grated cheeses. Season with pepper.
- Use a small spoon to fill each tomato with a little pesto. This dish is at its best if chilled for about an hour before serving.