Summer tomatoes need no embellishment. A platter of ripe, juicy slices or a bowl of just-picked jewels can carry any appetizer table.

But this time of year?

Not so much.

That’s why the tomatoes I served Saturday night stepped out in their fashionable finest:


Gutted, filled with smoked fish and accessorized with just a smattering of dill, they were dressed for a party and bursting with flavor.

Not bad for a late-fall tomato!

Tiny Stuffed Tomatoes

I cannot tell a lie: Gutting these little orbs takes time. But arming yourself with a round, 1/8th teaspoon makes the process relatively easy.

  1. Rinse a pint or so of cherry tomatoes (a Costco-size container if you’re entertaining a crowd).
  2. Slice a thin piece off of each tomato’s bottom, so it will stand erect.
  3. Slice an eighth an inch off the top.
  4. Using your teaspoon, scoop out the pulp and seeds. You’ll end up with pretty tomato shells.  (Be sure to save the pulp for use in a sauce or soup.)
  5. Stuff those shells with whatever filling you desire. I made a smoked salmon spread, but increase the ease by buying whitefish salad or flavored cream cheese. Fill the tomato shells with 1/8th of a teaspoon of filling, then sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs.

Your appetizer is now dressed to party!