Friday, April 13, 2012

Pesto and cream cheese stuffed tomatoes

Remember my 5 ingredients or less obsession? OK, now ask me how I feel about 3 ingredients...

These are pretty self explanatory once you see the ingredient list. Here's what you need:

1 pint large cherry tomatoes
4 oz cream cheese (I used fat free)
2 T basil pesto

If I were awarding prizes for cherry tomatoes, this brand would have the gold medal! I've always loved tomatoes, you know how I feel about pesto, and if you don't like cream cheese you're reading the wrong blog.  This has been in my pile to try for a long while, but I was patient and waited until Easter when we would be serving them to a crowd, rather than listening to Justin's reaction of "Why are we having these tomato things every night?" if I would've made a batch for just the two of us. Of course, I knew he wouldn't be a fan, with the pesto making these taste like plants (his words, not mine)...but I knew I would have trouble restraining myself from popping these suckers so I doubled the batch just to be safe.

The most time consuming part was hollowing out the tomatoes. I just cut the top off, used a small spoon to get most of the flesh out, and then added them to the pan to await being filled with deliciousness....

I'm a big fan of using baggies to fill things that need filling....waaaaaaaay easier than trying to spoon the cheese into the tomatoes like the recipe described. Just mix the pesto and the cream cheese together in a bowl and spoon it into a baggie. Cut the tip off a corner of the baggie and you've got a perfect vehicle to fill your maters!

Mmm, mmm, mmm...I'm salivating looking at the photos again. I brought these to Justin's dad's side for Easter and we ate the leftovers at Justin's mom's that night...I should say I ate the leftovers. I had to take as many of them down on the weekend as I could...everyone knows calories don't count on the weekend. And I left them there to be thrown away...I can't be trusted with poppable cheese things (anything poppable with cheese involved)...and I know that about myself. We each have our vices...

In for a close up...don't goob up your screen like I'm doing drooling over these!

I used prepared pesto as I didn't have any fresh basil and I only needed the small amount this recipe called for so didn't want to make a batch. But in the Summer, when my deck planter is in full force, I make my own here's the recipe for that if you would like to prepare your own.

Basil pesto:

2 cups fresh basil leaves
2 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Throw it all in the food processor and you're good to go! This will make more pesto than needed for this recipe, so you can use the rest to top pasta, dip bread in, top chicken or shrimp, or just freeze.  Here are a couple ways you could use your leftovers: homemade ravioli with pesto alfredo cream sauce, pesto pasta salad, or pesto shrimp angel hair.  Let me know if you can even slightly hold yourself back in devouring any of these dishes and I'll give you the gold medal on the winner's podium like I did these Nature Sweet tomatoes!
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