Though this appetizer is best in summer when tomatoes and basil are at their peak, you can make it any time of year. Be sure to use cherry and not grape tomatoes, though, otherwise they won't stand upright and the filling will spill out.

Serves 8 to 10


  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 5 Tbsp. pine nuts
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional as needed
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes


Place the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, salt, olive oil, and Pecorino in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. If the pesto is too thick for your taste, add a little more olive oil.

Cut the tops off the tomatoes. With a small spoon (I use an espresso spoon), scoop out the seeds and pulp, taking care not to puncture the skin. Fill the tomatoes with the pesto and serve at room temperature.

From Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner? (Sterling Epicure) by Lisa Caponigri.


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