I was first introduced to sun-dried tomato stuffed cucumbers at a Superbowl Party this past year. I was in awe how fast these small bites went at the gathering, overshadowing the more traditional Super Bowl fare of wings and assorted dips.
My friend didn't have an exact recipe to share, it was one she made up on the fly in her kitchen. Inspired by the flavors, I created my own variation. The recipe is simple, easy to put together, and looks so elegant on a serving platter drizzled with balsamic reduction.
A melon baller comes in handy when preparing this gluten-free appetizer. After slicing two seedless cucumbers into 1" thick slices, use a melon baller to scoop out the center of each slice. This hollowed out portion is filled with a small mound of delicious and tangy sun-dried tomato pesto that comes together in a matter of minutes thanks to a food processor.
I used Trader Joe's Julienne Cut California Sun-Dried Tomatoes. The serving size was perfect, the sun-dried tomatoes so flavorful, and I was able to control how much oil was used by not purchasing the tomatoes already soaked in oil.
If you are in need of a small bite for Happy Hour or lighter fare for a summer gathering, this appetizer will certainly please.
For an added touch of dreaminess, place a small piece of fresh Buffalo mozzarella at the bottom of the cucumber's hollowed out center before adding the scoop of pesto.
Have pesto remaining after stuffing all the cucumbers? Toss the leftovers over steaming gluten-free pasta or slather over a slice of gluten-free bread.
- 2 cucumbers, (seedless, unpeeled, washed and sliced 1" thick)
- 3 oz sun-dried tomatoes (julienne-cut, not in oil, I love this package from
- Trader Joe's)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup almonds (slivered)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup olive oil (extra virgin)
- To Taste: salt
- To Taste: pepper
- Garnish: balsamic reduction
- Wash and slice the unpeeled cucumber into 1" thick pieces, discarding the ends. Set aside.
- With a food processor, pulse the garlic cloves until minced.
- Add the sun-dried tomatoes, almonds, and cheese to the food processor bowl. Pulse until well combined.
- With the food processor running, very slowly pour in the extra virgin olive oil until a pesto forms.
- Scoop the sun-dried tomato pesto into a separate bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- With a melon baller, scoop out the center of each cucumber slice. Fill each hollowed out center with a dollop of pesto. Arrange stuffed cucumbers evenly on a serving dish.
- Drizzle balsamic reduction over top stuffed cucumbers just prior to serving.
Reminder: Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels - not all brands are created equal. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.