Cherry Tomatoes Filled With Creamy Pesto Cheese
3 cups fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (see tip below)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cut into chunks
2 pints (4 cups) cherry tomatoes, washed and dried
Combine the basil, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the pine nuts and add the rest to the basil. Process until the pine nuts are ground. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Add the soft cheese and pulse until smooth and creamy.
Shortly before serving, make an X on the bottom side (opposite the stalk) of each cherry tomato with a serrated or sharp paring knife. Scoop out the seeds with a grapefruit spoon or your fingertips, taking care to keep the tomatoes intact.
Scrape the pesto cheese filling into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle, or small plastic food bag with a 1cm hole snipped in one corner. Pipe a rosette of filling into each cherry tomato cavity. Garnish the cherry tomatoes with the remaining pine nuts.