Monday, May 3, 2010

Bubbly cheddar tomatoes/Roasted vegetable and cheese canapes

A couple weeks ago, I went to a demonstration class at the local Viking Culinary Center. On the menu: five great appetizers. I don't make a lot of appetizers when I entertain—I might throw together a cheese platter and some fresh vegies, hummus and pita, maybe a selection of olives, but I've never really considered myself an "appetizer" sort of gal. I'm really more about the main course—and dessert.

But it was a fun night and the recipes were fairly simple and easy to prepare. So, when my friend—who also attended the class—suggested we make two of the appetizers for a recent family party, I grabbed my camera and my wooden spoon and got to work.

Bubbly Cheddar Tomatoes

40 large cherry tomatoes
3 oz of aged cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/4 cup prepared pesto
1/4 cup crushed herb croutons
1 tablespoon melted butter
40 small shrimp: peeled, deveined, tail off

(Yes, I'm still allergic to shellfish, and can only say that it is perfectly fine to completely omit the shrimp from this recipe.)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. With a sharp knife, slice the tops off of each tomato and using a small spoon, remove the membrane and seeds from inside. Then slice a small piece off the bottom so that the tomatoes will sit flat without rolling.
Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet and then spoon in some pesto and top with a cube of cheese.

Combine the crushed croutons with the melted butter and sprinkle over the top of the tomatoes. Bake for 5 minutes or until bubbly.
While the tomatoes are baking, saute the shrimp in a bit of butter and garlic until pink. Top each tomato with a piece of shrimp. Serve warm.

Roasted vegetable and Boursin canapes

1/2 of a small red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 of a small red onion, finely diced
1/2 of a small eggplant, finely diced
1/2 of a medium zucchini, finely diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
15 frozen miniature phyllo tart shells
a small container of Boursin cheese
chopped fresh basil (for garnish)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the bell pepper, onion, eggplant and zucchini in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well.
Spread the vegies out in a shallow roasting pan and roast for about 20 minutes or until tender and golden brown.
Place the frozen pyhllo shells on a baking sheet and fill each cup with about a teaspoon of the Boursin cheese.
Top with the vegetables and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until the shells are a light golden brown. Garnish with fresh basil and serve either warm or at room temperature.


  1. They look fantastic. What a great job you did on cleaning out the tomatoes...

    What were the rest of the recipes (G)

    I always made red, white and blue rigatoni stuffed with seasoned ricotta cheese for 4th of July for my dinner club (way before dyes were bad for you (G)(G)(G)
    and avocado rolled in lemon juice, catalina dressing (Kraft) and smashed potato chips. This has to be done
    right before serving or the chips get soggy.

    We all loved appetizers so much that once a year we would have an all appetizer and dessert evening...

  2. I love appetizers . . . these will be great to add to my repertoire!

  3. Those photos are amazing...and I have to admit the appetizers were pretty amazing too! This post makes me want to host a cocktail party. (Did you take photos when we made the steak appetizer? That was another winner!)