TOMATO POPPERS – “still crazy after all these years”

Hi there,

To paraphrase Paul Simon, I met my old friend, Alfred, the other night, we talked about some old times, and drank some wine. Still crazy after all these years…

One of the old times Alfred and I laughed about was the first time we made pesto. We were such newbies we didn’t know the difference between a clove of garlic or a head of garlic. So we decided err on the side of the garlic taste and made pesto with a whole head of garlic. What a horrible taste that was.

Well, I have gotten a lot better at making pesto and I wanted to share with you my recipe for a quick appetizer which would make a colorful addition to a Memorial Day barbecue.

Cooking allows us to be alone and to be in company.


  • a container of flavor bombs cherry tomatoes
  • small container of homemade pesto (recipe to follow)
  • very small, unseasoned mozzarella balls
  • basalmic glaze and fresh basil for finishing


  1. slice a small piece off the top and bottom of the tomatoes
  2. using a small spoon core the tomatoes leaving the bottom intact
  3. fill the tomatoes with pesto
  4. cut the mozzarella ball in half and top each tomato with 1/2 piece mozzarella
  5. drizzle basalmic glaze and put a chiffonade of fresh basil on top

Easy, peasy right?



½ cup pine nuts

3oz. Parmesan, grated (about ¾ cup)

6 cups basil leaves (about 3 bunches)

1/4 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


In a food processor finely chop basil

Next add pine nuts and chop to combine

Add parmesan cheese to the mixture

Slowly drizzle EVOO until mixture forms a paste

Special Note: I do not use garlic anymore in my pesto and I use very little oil. I prefer to add oil or butter to the food and then add the pesto. I use a dollop of pesto when I am making marinara sauce. Pesto freezes beautifully. I put it in small jars as you see in the photo above.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. I am taking next week off but will be back with lots of great stories and recipes the following week.

Talk soon, ❤️💕 Bernadette

27 responses to “TOMATO POPPERS – “still crazy after all these years””

  1. I make boatloads of pesto every summer, because it’s one of my husband’s favorite foods. I omit the cheese and freeze it in jars. That way there’s less volume, and I can add as much cheese when I’m preparing whatever with the pesto. I can’t imagine pesto without garlic, tho…

  2. Bernadette, not only do your share wonderful recipes and stories with us, It’s also fun seeing your beautiful collection of serving platters and dishes! My mother used to make batches of pesto and freeze them in plastic ice cube trays as well as glass jars, just to add a little extra basil flavor to some of her dishes.

  3. wasn’t just me then… as a newlywed my new husband told me to go through the cookery book and pick a recipe and make it..if we liked it that was good and if we didn’t..history…my mother never used garlic in her cooking..lots of herbs and spices but no garlic I too used the whole head..that was a quick learning curve…Great sounding recipe and thank you for the memory, Bern 🙂 x

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated. If you like this recipe, please give it to your friends.

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