Warning: These little things are highly addictive. I’m mean, really really addictive. You get some crispy bacon and smokey chipotle aioli all inside a perfectly juicy grape tomato. Oh ya, and there’s even a little piece of arugula just to make the whole thing look extra pretty.
Set these out at a party and these mini BLT cups are going to fly off the plate. Trust me, I’ve seen it happen with my own eyes.
Grape tomatoes are perfect for this recipe but cherry tomatoes will work too. I use baby arugula for the lettuce but have also used baby spinach in a pinch. Whatever kind of lettuce you use just make sure it’s small.
To make your life a lot more simple (and who doesn’t love that?) I suggest that you put the aioli in a pastry bag fitted with a smallish tip and then pipe the aioli into the tomatoes.
Making your own aioli is super simple, and a lot more delicious than store bought mayo. I’ve given instructions on how to make aioli but you can always substitute store bought instead; just make sure you don’t use Miracle Whip for this recipe as the flavour won’t be right.
- For the BLT cups:
- 24 grape tomatoes
- 24 small pieces of lettuce, such as arugula or baby spinach
- ¼ cup crumbled crisp cooked bacon (about 3 pieces)
- 24 small pieces of bacon for garnish (about 2 pieces)
- For the chipotle aioli:
- 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ cup grape seed or other neutral flavoured oil (not olive!)
- 1-2 teaspoons of chipotles in adobo sauce
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon miso
- ¾ teaspoon sugar
- 3-4 drops of liquid smoke
- Salt to taste
- To make the aioli:
- In a medium bowl whisk together the room temperature egg yolk with the lemon juice and Dijon mustard. Slowly add the oil in a very small stream whisking constantly. If the oil starts to build up and not become incorporated, stop pouring and whisk the aioli aggressively. Continue whisking and pouring the oil in slowly until it is completely incorporated.
- Combine all other ingredients in a small blender; I like to use the magic bullet for this. Add the aioli and blend until completely mixed and there are no visible chipotle seeds left. Salt to taste
- If you are using store bought mayo, DO NOT put it in the blender as it will turn runny. Simply blend the chipotles, soy, miso and sugar together as best you can and then mix it into the mayo. It will not be as smooth but it will still be tasty.
- To assemble to BLT cups:
- Cut the bottoms of the tomatoes off (they will stand on their tops.) Gently squeeze and roll the tomatoes between your fingers to remove the pulp. (Can be made up to 1 day ahead)
- Stuff 1 piece of arugula (or other lettuce) into each tomato cup. Then place ½ teaspoon of bacon (you don’t need to be exact here!) into each. Top with a squeeze of chipotle aioli and a piece of bacon for garnish.
If you are using store bought mayo use a half a cup and add these ingredients to it:
chipotles in adobo sauce, soy sauce, miso, sugar, liquid smoke and salt.
Want some more delicious bite sized appetizers? Check these out: