Friday, May 25, 2012

Fun Summer Appetizer for Parties: Ladybug Tomatoes #GardenCuizine #recipe

Ladybug Tomatoes 
Summer Appetizer
      
Non-hybrid heirloom tomatoes are quite hardy and easy-to-grow from seeds. Saving seeds from tomatoes takes a little more effort than some seeds, but it's always worth it. I think every single seed I planted this year germinated, which means more for us and more plants to share with friends. We are still planting out our cherry tomatoes. I usually plant them in both pots and directly in the garden.

On our recent adventure to Sicily, we were often served cherry tomatoes at meals. I had never really seen a bowl of sliced cherry tomatoes served in a restaurant before that. Bite-sized cherry or grape tomatoes are an easy way to increase your vegetable intake too. 

Just 1 cup of cherry tomatoes provides an excellent source of Vitamins A and C, plus they're a good source of Potassium, making them a nutritious snack or an ideal choice for use in recipes.

This ladybug tomato appetizer recipe is fun to put together and makes a tasty conversation piece at summer BBQ picnics and parties. Try some this Memorial Day weekend!

This is another one of my freestyle recipes, meaning that you can use as little or as much of the ingredients to create the number of servings desired. No exact measurements are necessary.
 

Ingredients

  • Cherry or grape tomatoes (for the ladybug body)
  • Neufchâtel cream cheese (has 1/3 less fat than regular cream cheese) 
  • Garden herbs (I snipped some chives, parsley and oregano for our Memorial Day batch) 
  • Onion powder
  • Ground black pepper 
  • Black olives (for heads and spots)
  • Black artificial color to dye a little portion of cream cheese - optional (can pipe on dots or use as a glue for attaching the olive spots)
  • Rosemary (for antennae; or use your imagination, chives...)  
  • Crackers or sliced garlic bread toasts
  • Any garden greens (lettuce, mizuna, arugula etc)
Putting it all together
  1. Set aside crackers or make garlic and olive oil toasted bread slices
  2. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and slice again but not all the way through and set aside.
  3. Cut the olives in half and set aside. Also, cut tiny olive bits for spots. Dye a little of the cream cheese mixture black or dark gray to use as a paste to attach the olive spots on.
  4.  In a mixing bowl, whip the cream cheese. Stir in the garlic powder, black pepper and chopped herbs.
  5. Now you are ready to put them together and have some fun! Spread a little round of cream cheese on the tops of your crackers or toasts.
  6. Spread the partially split tomato half over top to make the wings. Add the head (a small amount of cream cheese helps hold it in place). Add antennae. Decorate with spots dipped in dyed cream cheese to hold them on.
  7. Serve your ladybug appetizers atop a mixed bed of garden greens on a red, white or black serving dish. Enjoy!
GardenCuizine Nutrition Data for Cherry Tomatoes: 1 cup (149g): 27 calories; total fat 0g; cholesterol 0g; dietary fiber 2g (7%DV); total carbohydrate 6g (2% DV); Vitamin A 1241 IU (25% DV); Vitamin C 18.9 mg (32% DV); Potassium 353 mg (10% DV); Folate 22 mcg (6% DV); Phytosterols 10.4 mg

Happy Memorial Day! 
Check out my Dave's Garden 'Ladybug Love' article, featuring photos of ladybug cupcakes - another summer party favorite!


Related Links: Ladybug Appetizers Recipe
Choosemyplate.gov Vegetable Group
Memorial Day History
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©2012 Wind. All rights reserved.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

GREAT IDEA!!! thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

GREAT IDEA

Diana Wind, RD-chef said...

Thanks! I got the idea from a theme party fundraiser at church. One of the tables was a "ladybug" theme!

Anonymous said...

I love the idea, but I couldn't get the small olive pieces to stick to the tomato. They kept sliding off. It was also extremely had to pick up the tiny pieces and try to lay them on the tomato. But, if you can do it, kudos to you.