Maybe you’ve seen these cute BLT appetizers with the flavors of a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, or better yet, you’ve tasted them! They are so easy to pick up and pop in your mouth for a great burst of flavors. They are not totally easy to make though, especially hollowing out the cherry tomatoes. Here are some tips to make the process quicker and easier. (Be sure to check out the easier options at the end.)
1. Choose larger cherry tomatoes. Don’t choose grape tomatoes because they are just too small.
2. Cut off the top third of the tomatoes. This gives you more room to scoop. If that’s still too difficult to work with, just cut them in half.
3. Use a baby spoon, a grapefruit spoon, or a small measuring spoon to remove the seeds and liquid from the tomatoes.
4. Cut a very thin slice from the bottom of each tomato to get the tomatoes to “sit” and not roll over. This will give it a flat surface to keep it more stable.
5. Use real bacon bits so you don’t have to fry bacon and crumble it. I don’t mind cooking bacon, but I must admit, I’d be tempted to eat a few of the bacon strips instead of putting them in the recipe!
6. Put the filling into a plastic sandwich bag and cut off one corner a bit. Then you can squeeze filling more easily into the hollowed out tomatoes. It’s easier and neater than using a spoon. Cut the corner of the bag just a little bit and then cut it more if you need a bigger opening. Several reviewers said to swap 1/2 of the mayonnaise for cream cheese that is flavored with onions and chives. Another reviewer just puts dried onion flakes in the mayo. I prefer the cream cheese.
You can put the filled tomatoes on a plate, then garnish with lettuce leaves. Or line the serving plate with fairly flat lettuce leaves to set the tomatoes on. This might distract people from the fact that there is no lettuce in the tomatoes. You still might get a comment about how can these be BLT bites if they have no lettuce in them. But the reviewers mostly say no one is asking that; they are too busy gobbling them down. And then asking for the recipe. You can add some chopped chives or a bit of dark green lettuce to the top of each one if you want.
EASY OPTION B
It’s very easy to make this into a wonderful salad. Slice a big ripe tomato into thick slices. Put lettuce on each plate, top with a slice of tomato, and spread the “filling” from the recipe on top. Yum.
EVEN EASIER OPTION C
Another reviewer said to use the filling as a dip, adding chopped tomatoes to it. They used cucumber slices as dippers, but you could use any dippers you like. I think this might be the way I make it because it’s so quick and easy. It’s more convenient to take to a potluck also. You don’t have to worry about the tomatoes rolling around on the way to the party.
OPTION D: BRUSCHETTA!
I’m thinking this would make some fantastic bruschetta. Top toast with the filling, then some halved cherry tomatoes and possibly a small piece of basil, any kind of dark lettuce, or some chives. Yum! And so easy. I realize this is getting closer to a BLT sandwich with the toast. Who knew you could serve a BLT as an upscale appetizer!
By the way, growing cherry tomatoes is the one of the easiest vegetables to grow. You can get plants at the nursery that will produce healthy snacks for you all summer.
I hope you try one of these versions. The flavors make it totally worth it!