Monday, June 18, 2012

Little Gems...

I love this time of the year for food.  The fruit and vegetables are so bright, delicious and bountiful.  I sometimes find it difficult to decide which ones to buy...fresh Jersey corn, cantaloupe, berries, broccoli.  I often gravitate toward the tomatoes especially the cherry tomatoes.  They are so sweet and delicious and make the perfect snack or appetizer.

I decided to invite my parents for dinner for Father's Day and kept my dinner simple - crabby portabellas, roasted broccoli raab, basmati rice, and of course, crumb cake for dessert my father's favorite!

Milling around Shoprite I think to myself but what should I make as an appetizer, nothing too frilly and something easy to eat outside on the patio with a glass of wine...hummm.  Then I stumble upon those perfect cherry tomatoes.  I toss them into the cart and then think outside the box and grab some provolone cheese.

After a quick rinse and pat dry I begin to assemble my little gems.  In less than 10 minutes I had a colorful and tasty appetizer that was an incredible was the perfect bite! I served these juicy gems with a balsamic dipping sauce on the side.  Enjoy...

Little Gems...
1 Container of Cherry Tomatoes (rinsed and dried)
1 Block of Sharp Provolone Cheese

Cut the provolone cheese into small cubes
Thread one tomato per toothpick
Place a cube of cheese underneath the tomato
Drizzle with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serve Immediately

*This can be done ahead of time.  Assemble the tomatoes and cheese and place in the refrigerator.  Drizzle with Balsamic Vinaigrette just before serving or serve the vinaigrette on the side as a dipping sauce.

Balsamic Vinaigrette...
1/4 Cup of Balsamic Vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Mayonnaise
2 Teaspoons of Spicy Brown Mustard
1 Teaspoon Sugar
3/4 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Whisk together balsamic, mayonnaise, mustard and sugar till smooth
Slowly whisk in olive oil and season with salt/pepper to taste

* This can also be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.  Use the remaining vinaigrette as a salad dressing or marinade for chicken.

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