These oven-roasted starters are made even more festive if you use a mix of red, orange, and yellow cherry tomatoes. You can also try grape or pear tomatoes, which differ in shape from cherry.
- 3 medium zucchini
- 2 tablespoon oil, olive, extra-virgin
- 3/4 teaspoon basil, dried
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme, dried
- pepper, black ground
- 24 medium tomato(es), cherry
MAKE-AHEAD: Zucchini bites can be made up to 6 hours in advance; cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Warm through in a 325°F oven for 5 to 10 minutes just before serving.
Position rack in middle of oven and heat oven to 425°F.
Slice just the tips off the rounded ends of the zucchini. Cut each zucchini crosswise into 8 (1" thick) rounds. Using a melon baller, scoop a pocket into each piece of zucchini (do not scoop all the way through).
Whisk together oil, basil, and thyme in a large bowl. Add zucchini pieces and toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and generously with pepper.
Enjoy 3 zucchini bites per serving.
Transfer zucchini pieces, with the pocket facing up, to a baking sheet; reserve any oil mixture left in the bowl. Place tomatoes in the same bowl and, using your hands, toss gently to coat with the remaining oil mixture. Place 1 tomato in each zucchini pocket. Using a rubber spatula, scrape all of the remaining oil and seasonings over the zucchini bites. Bake until the bottoms and tops are golden, about 25 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes and serve warm.