Earlier this month, my daughter Julianna’s softball team made all of the cheering parents proud when they battled it out in extra innings and took home their division championship trophy. This, of course, was followed up last week with a celebration barbecue hosted by the coaches. What started out simply as “burgers, dogs, beer, and whatever you would like to contribute” quickly spiraled into a full-blown Hawaiian-themed luau….coconut bras and grass skirts included.
My first intentions were to bring a nice seasonal appetizer, planning to somehow use tomatoes, which are one of my favorite summer foods. When the party turned Hawaiian, my thought was “how do I add a Hawaiian spin to this?” The answer…add some pineapple! Borrowing some inspiration from Hawaiian-style pizza, I came up with cherry tomatoes stuffed with pineapple, feta and prosciutto, drizzled with a balsamic reduction.
I am happy to say that this appetizer went over really well. The dish is very easy to make (ok, you are putting in some effort when stuffing, but the end result is worth the time), and it compliments any summer cook-out. We enjoyed them so much, that we also made them a few days later for our annual family birthday cook-out.
So if you are looking for a fun recipe to bring to a cook-out this summer that is both delicious and impressive, give this one a try! The ingredients are listed below without actual measurements, you can easily adjust according to how many you are planning to make.
Summer Stuffed Tomatoes
(adjust the ingredients according to amount needed)
Cherry Tomatoes (not to be mistaken with the smaller grape tomato)
Crumbled soft cheese (such as bleu cheese, feta or gorgonzola)
Cut the stem off of the tomatoes. Using a small knife, gently scoop out the pulp of the tomato, being careful not to tear or puncture the skin. Next, slice a piece of prosciutto into quarters. Use one of the quarter pieces to wrap around a small amount of cheese and a small piece of pineapple. Gently stuff the wrapped cheese and pineapple into a tomato. As you stuff more tomatoes, you will get a better feel of how much cheese and pineapple will fit into a tomato without tearing the tomato skin. Secure each tomato with a toothpick (this will serve a dual purpose: to help keep the tomato from falling apart, and to allow your guests to easily pick up the tomato). Plate the stuffed tomatoes, then drizzle with a balsamic reduction.*
*To make a quick balsamic reduction, simply pour 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the vinegar has reduced to 1/4 cup. Set aside, and cool to room temperature.