Last month, I was contacted by a PR representative from Lipman Produce. Lipman Produce, is North America’s largest field tomato grower being in business for over 70 years and located in South Florida (Immokalee, Florida). Lipman asked me, along with 11 other bloggers, to create an original recipe using their delectable tomatoes in a dish for their new website; Lipman Kitchen.
Sounds simple, right? I use tomatoes on a daily basis. I buy pints of grape tomatoes on a weekly basis. All of a sudden when the pressure is on–my mind went blank. So I pondered over the recipe development offer for a few days until I came up with a few ideas, and then I officially committed to the project. Let’s get real here, people. We all go through recipe block–very similar to writers block.
I chose to create a recipe with the bite-size Cherry Berries. These sweet tomatoes burst with flavors and are grown fresh year-round. As Lipman writes on their website “Our farmers agree – this is the sweetest, most irresistible tomato Lipman has ever introduced.“
The first idea that came to mind… candying Cherry Berries. Why can’t I candy a tomato? Small tomatoes like the grape variety, can be sweet and full of flavor. Adding just over a tablespoon and a half of sugar brings out those sweet flavors even more.
At first I thought about a long drawn out process to candy these gems. Slow roasting for a few hours; tomatoes mixed in a sugar mixture. That’s when it occured to me that people want quick and easy; packed full of flavor. When I’m entertaining I don’t want an appetizer that will take me hours to cook for a simple before dinner snack. That’s when the Candied Smoked Paprika Cherry Berries was created. This sweet and savory appetizer is sure to have all of your guest begging for more and best of all your candied tomatoes are done in minutes! You can eat this appetizer warm or at room temperature and if you happen to have any leftover candied tomatoes leftover they are just as good the next day (refrigerated of course).
Disclaimer: I was provided tomatoes and compensation for creating this recipe; however, all opinions are my own.
Candied Smoked Paprika Cherry Berries
- 5 Bacon Slices
- 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
- 1-1/2 tbsp Granulated White Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 Whole Wheat Baguette (20 slices total)
- 5-1/4 oz. Garlic & Herb Boursin Cheese
- 2 tbsp Salted Butter
- 1/2 cup Green Onion, diced
- Cook bacon in a frying pan over medium heat until golden brown on both sides. Remove bacon from frying pan and place onto a paper towel lined plate to drain and rest. Once cooled, chop bacon and set aside.
- Rinse the cherry tomatoes under cool water. Slice each tomato in half vertically. Place in a medium bowl, then add sugar and smoked paprika. Toss until each tomato is well coated.
- Preheat your broiler. Slice baguette into 1/4 inch thick pieces. Take one slice of whole-wheat baguette, and spread a generous amount of garlic and herb soft cheese onto the slice. Repeat until you have 20 slices (you may not use all of the baguette). Put the slices onto a baking sheet. Toast until bread is crispy and cheese is slightly melted (about five minutes). (Note: If serving the appetizer at room temperature, do not toast the soft cheese mixture.)
- In a medium frying pan on high heat, add 1 tablespoon of salted butter. When butter melts (about 30 seconds), add half the bowl of sugar/paprika coated Cherry Berries to the pan. Sauté on high for three to five minutes until tomatoes turn golden in color, begin to sweat and caramelize. Once the tomatoes are candied, remove from the frying pan and place in a clean bowl. Repeat this step for the other half of the sugar paprika coated tomatoes.
- Arrange the cheese covered bread slices on a serving platter and place three or four caramelized Cherry Berries on top. Top with chopped bacon and green onions. Repeat until all 20 baguette slices have been filled. Serve and enjoy.