Stuffed cherry tomatoes, ceviche-stuffed mushrooms, mini mozzarella balls, and a delicious vinaigrette to top off cucumber- wrapped greens.
Try this 5-component, flavor- bursting bridal salad for a delightfully delicate, satisfying-to-the-appetite lunch.
On the plate:
Each salad plate gets I bundle of greens, 2 stuffed cherry tomatoes on a bed of parsley (to keep them from rolling around), 1 stuffed mushroom and 2 skewered cheese balls. Dressing is served in a separate serving container.
Component 1 – The Lettuce
1-2 heads green leaf lettuce Mixed salad greens
Use the cucumber as the ribbon that ties the salad into a cute bundle.
Cut cucumber in half lengthwise.
Use a mandolin or knife to slice lengthwise into 1/8th inch strips.
Wash lettuce and salad greens. Place cucumber slice on plate horizontally. Lay vertical strips of lettuce leaf sliced into 3 pieces. Add some mixed salad greens being sure to keep the pieces toward the center of the cucumber slice.
Roll tightly and secure cucumber ends with a festive toothpick.
Component 2 – Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes:
A tasty, simple way to use cherry tomatoes, this recipe is one of our favorite appetizers. Reminiscent of a classic BLT sandwich, we use premium bacon. This unique hors d’oeuvre is scrumptiously simple and displays beautifully. These can be made ahead of time and refrigerated overnight as well. Rest assured— whatever quantity you make will be consumed.
2 pints cherry tomatoes
3⁄4 cup mayonnaise
1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1 16 ounce package bacon, crisply
cooked, drained and crumbled
Cut the top off each cherry tomato. Using a cherry tomato corer or a sharp knife, carefully scoop out the seeds and pulp. Place each tomato upside down on paper towels to drain.
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl.
Stuff each cherry tomato with the bacon mixture. Chill in fridge for at least two hours to blend flavors. Line the serving tray with parsley to keep tomatoes from rolling around.
Component 3 – Ceviche Stuffed Grilled Portabellas
Ceviche, a popular Latin American appetizer, is the perfect cool dish on a balmy Southern afternoon. Ceviche uses the ancient preparation method of cooking fish by mixing it with acidic juice, such as lime. Our recipe uses classic flavors and simple ingredients to create a fan favorite.
11⁄2 pounds fresh fillets of sea bass, flounder or snapper (can be mixed)
2 cups pico de gallo
2 large avocados
- 1⁄4 cup Mexican hot sauce
- 1⁄4 cup tomato ketchup
1 cup fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon olive oil
Cut fish into 1⁄2 inch cubes, place in glass pan or bowl and cover with lime juice. Cover and place in refrigerator for about
three hours or until fish becomes firm. Drain lime juice.
Wisk hot sauce and ketchup until evenly blended. Cut avocados into 1⁄2 inch cubes. Place all ingredients in bowl, mix well and chill for another hour or two. Serve with tortilla chips.
8 small portabellas, about 3 inches in diameter
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1⁄2 cup balsamic vinegar 2 cloves garlic, pressed
Wisk together olive oil, vinegar and garlic. Wash mushrooms and cut off stems. Preheat smoker to 175. Place mushrooms, stem side up, and fill with oil/ balsamic mixture. Close lid and smoke for 1 hour. Remove from smoker and chill.
Place chilled mushroom stem side up on plate and fill with a few pieces of ceviche.
Component 4- Mini mozzarella balls
Available at most good grocers, plain or marinated, skewer two with toothpick and add to plate.
Component 5- Dressing
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1⁄2 cup balsamic vinegar 1 clove garlic, pressed 2 tsps Dijon mustard
1 dash salt
3 turns fresh cracked pepper
Wisk all ingredients and chill. Place in serving vessel and serve.
By Tom Flynn
Photography by Gabriela Ferrel