Tomato and basil, a match made in heaven – add some chilli and cheese…Tomato Basil Cups with Chilli (and cheese!)
I really think you will love these for when you next entertain. SO simple to make, but total little BOMBS of flavour in one mouthful.
Also check out my recipe to see my sneaky trick for keeping the tomatoes stable on the plate!
Tomato Basil Cups with Chilli
A perfect mouthful of tomato, basil, chilli & cheese - perfect for entertaining
- 500 g cherry tomatoes (usually 30-35)
- 9 cherry bocconcini quartered (see notes)
- 1 long red chilli - ribs & seeds removed roughly chopped
- 4 halves sun dried tomatoes not oil packed - finely chopped
- 1/2 cup 70g macadamia nuts - dry roasted - see note
- 1/4 -1/2 tsp red harissa paste (see notes)
- 30 - 35 fresh basil leaves
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- juice 1/2 lemon
- pinch of fine salt to taste
In a small food processor combine chilli, sun dried tomatoes, macadamia nuts and olive oil and process until thoroughly mixed and very finely chopped - you may need to scrape down the sides occasionally.
Add lemon juice and salt to taste, then set aside.
Cut the bottom third off the cherry tomatoes, leaving the top intact - once filled they will sit on the plate upside down, which gives them stability (reserve the pieces of tomato for another use).
Using the small end of a melon baller, cut down both ribs of the tomatoes, removing the core of seeds and discarding - take care not to split the sides of the tomatoes.
Place the tomatoes cut-side down on paper towel/kitchen paper to drain away any remaining juice.
Place one basil leaf inside each tomato cup with the tip protruding as you see in the photo.
Shape a heaping 1/4 tsp of chilli mixture into a rough ball and place inside tomato cup, pushing to one side, followed by a bocconcini quarter beside the chilli mixture.
Add any remaining chilli mixture to fill tomato cups entirely and serve.
The size of your cherry tomatoes is important - the bigger they are the easier it will be to remove the seeds without splitting them, and more of the yummy filling you can fit in.
The number of cherry tomatoes you get in 500g is going to dictate how many cherry bocconcini and basil leaves you need - this is why I haven't put firm numbers in the ingredients list.
No need to get too fancy when dry roasting your macadamia nuts, just put them in a small frypan and fry them for 2-4 mins just to get a little colour on them.
The harissa paste can be increased/decreased depending on your level of required chilli heat, I'm not a big chilli eater at all and I quite liked the 1/2 tsp of harissa however husband Peter who isn't a chilli eater either said they were too hot for him, so obviously 1/4 tsp for him. You could also leave in the seeds and ribs of the fresh chilli for more heat.
*Please note that the amount of calories per serve is provided as a guide only, as ingredients and cooking methods can vary greatly*