Blooming Tomato

Blooming Tomato 7 small.jpg

Why should onions have all the fun?!

Forget the Blooming Onion (though it is undeniably delicious), because this summer the Blooming Tomato is taking over!

Blooming Tomato 3.jpg

I’m always looking to do something new with veggies—to transform them into something special.

And sometimes just cutting a veggie in a different way can accomplish that goal...

Blooming Tomato 2.jpg

This tomato becomes the centerpiece of a salad, and suddenly the salad is an experience—not just some veggies tossed together on a plate.

Blooming Tomato 1.jpg

The trick is to cut it into wedges while leaving the bottom center intact.

Blooming Tomato 6.jpg

Then top it as you like!

I’m going with Caesar dressing, lettuce, bacon, croutons—and to make it really special, some crab.

And just imagine this with some summer heirloom tomatoes!

Oh man, get ready for a lot of Blooming Tomatoes on my Instagram!

Blooming Tomato 5.jpg

Blooming Tomato

servings: 1; makes 1 salad


  • 1 bacon strip
  • 1 large tomato
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Caesar dressing
  • 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
  • ¼ cup croutons, cut into small pieces
  • Crab meat (optional)


  1. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp—6 to 7 minutes, turning once. Then transfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain.
  2. While the bacon cooks, remove the tomato’s stem and place it stem-side-up on a cutting board. Then cut the tomato into 8 wedges making all of your cuts on the stem side and leaving the bottom intact (first cut the tomato in half one way without cutting all the way through, then cut it in half the other way without cutting all the way through, and finally cut each quarter in half without cutting all the way through—for 8 even wedges).
  3. Next, sprinkle the cut tomato with the salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the dressing over the tomato, fill it with the shredded lettuce, and top it with the croutons and crab meat (if desired). Finally, when the bacon has finished cooking, remove it from the pan, crumble it over the blooming tomato, and serve.
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
Blooming Tomato 4 small.jpg

Find more recipes like this in Meat on the Side!


You might also like these recipes:

Sundried Tomato + Pesto Mac and Cheese Cups

Baked Boxed Mac and Cheese Cups 2_SMALL(1).jpg

Why make your mac and cheese into a cup?

Baked Boxed Mac and Cheese Cups 1.jpg

Why not?!

It’s cute, your kids will be more likely to eat it no matter what is inside, and you can serve it at parties!

And did I mention how cute it is?!

Baked Boxed Mac and Cheese Cups 2.jpg

For this hacked version of mac and cheese, I'm adding sundried tomatoes and pesto.

Two easy-to-find, jarred ingredients that suddenly make mac and cheese feel elegant!

Baked Boxed Mac and Cheese Cups 3.jpg

All you need to do is make the mac, add the sundried tomatoes, top it with pesto and parm, bake and serve!

Baked Boxed Mac and Cheese Cups 4.jpg

The tomatoes deepen the flavor, while the zingy pesto adds a fresh note!

Baked Boxed Mac and Cheese Cups 5.jpg

It’s mac and cheese that you can suddenly serve to guests!

Or just devour standing in the kitchen on a Tuesday night.

Either way, you win.

Baked Boxed Mac and Cheese Cups 6.jpg

Sundried Tomato + Pesto Mac and Cheese Cups

makes: 10 cups


  • One 14-ounce box of macaroni and cheese (with liquid cheese packet)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped sundried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup basil pesto
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare a non-stick muffin tin with cooking spray. Place a medium pot of salted water over high heat for cooking the macaroni. When the water boils, add the macaroni and cook until al dente—about 9 minutes; drain when finished. Return the cooked pasta to the pot and turn the heat down to medium, then stir in the cheese packet and tomatoes.
  2. Scoop ½ cup of the macaroni mixture into each of the prepared muffin cups, then top each cup with about 1 tablespoon of the pesto and about ½ teaspoon of the parmesan.
  3. Bake the cheese cups until the pasta on the top of each is lightly browned but not crunchy—about 12 to 15 minutes. Allow the cups to sit in the pan to cool for at least 10 minutes before unmolding them.
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
Baked Boxed Mac and Cheese Cups 1_SMALL.jpg

Find more recipes like this in Meat on the Side!


You might also like these recipes: