Here’s a great snack that’s easy to pull together for a potluck or a dinner party. These mini BLTs look like you spent all night slaving away, but making 20 of them only took about a half an hour. The trick is in the tools; I recommend using the pokey end of a melon baller to core your cherry tomatoes, a food processor to get a smooth filling and ye old plastic bag “piping bag”. These are sure to impress, make you you make some extra
for gobbling up as you cook for “tasting”.
- 20 large cherry tomatoes (my local grocery sells Colorado-grown “Toms” that were the perfect size)
- 8 strips of nitrate-free, center cut bacon
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
- 4 ounces fat-free cream cheese
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped spinach leaves, plus about 10 whole small leaves for plating
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pinch of pepper
- 20 toothpicks
1. Wash and dry your tomatoes. With a small serrated knife, cut off the top of each tomato. With the small pokey end of the melon baller, gently scoop out the insides of the tomatoes and place the tomatoes upside down on a paper towel to drain out any leftover juices.
2. While your tomatoes are draining, cook up that bacon. I like to save some time and cook mine in the -drum roll please-microwave! Lay 4 strips of paper towel flat on a dinner dish, tuck four pieces of bacon in between so that you have two pieces of paper towel on top of the bacon and two on the bottom. Don’t tear the paper towel apart. Cook on high for 2 minutes, flip the entire paper towel bacon snuggie over, unstick any pieces that try to hold on to the paper towel for dear life, and cook on high for another 2 minutes until bacon is crispy. You don’t have to do it this way of course, but I think it saves some time and makes me feel like I’m cutting down on some of the bacon fat.
3. Set bacon aside to cool. In a food processor, combine cheese, cream cheese, chopped spinach, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Break bacon strips into quarters and blend again until bacon is broken down and fully incorporated. Scoop mixture into a large plastic storage bag. Cut one corner off of the bottom of the bag, this will be your “piping bag”.
4. Now that your tomatoes are ready and the filling is awesome, fill each tomato with your filling. Squeeze a little bit out of the plastic bag through the cut you made directly into the hollowed out tomato. Once filled, place a small spinach leaf on top of the tomato and spear the whole enchilada with a toothpick to keep everything together. You may now begin basking in the compliments…enjoy!