AVOCADO-PESTO STUFFED TOMATOES

First-Place Winner in Better Homes & Gardens Dec. 2009 Prize Tested Recipes
Source:  Judy’s Kitchen (http://judyskitchen.blogspot.com)

INGREDIENTS:

30 cherry tomatoes (about 1-1/4 pints)

½ medium avocado, pitted, peeled and cut up

2 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 Tbsp. homemade or purchased basil pesto

1 tsp. lemon juice

Snipped fresh basil (optional)

Cut a thin slice from the top of each tomato. (If desired, cut a thin slice from bottom of tomatoes so they stand upright.) With a small spoon or small melon baller, carefully hollow out the tomatoes. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Invert tomatoes on the towels. Let stand 30 minutes to drain. Meanwhile, for filling, in a food processor bowl combine avocado, cream cheese, pesto and lemon juice. Cover; process until smooth. Spoon filling into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round or open star tip. Place tomatoes, open sides up, on a serving platter. Pipe filling into the tomato cups. Serve immediately or cover loosely and refrigerate up to 4 hours before serving. Sprinkle with snipped basil before serving. Makes 30 appetizers.