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Flame Kissed Tomato Pesto Tapas

May 11, 2015

Flame kissed veggie tapas topped off with a dollop of nutty quinoa, rich red roasted tomato pesto and grilled shrimp. Bring on the SIZZLE and CRACK out the GRILL for some weekend FUN! Flame Kissed Tomato Pesto Tapas /

There is nothing like the warmer weather to bring out the chef in everyone. As soon as I fire up the grill, all the men in my family turn into grilling masters and want to join in on the fun.

Once the domestic activities in the kitchen have subsided and the outdoor events are in full swing, grilling turns into a real Manly Man Event. Everyone has a say on how it is cooked and prepared. I let the boys creativity run wild and they are just brilliant.

Flame Kissed Tomato Pesto Tapas /

I was just going to make a relatively simple Grilled Veggie Quinoa Bowl with lots of goodies. My eldest, a real foodie that actually works part-time in the F & B business to make money for school, said mom, " Lets have some fun." I asked him what he had in mind and he just blew me away with his creativity. We had fun! Loads of fun!  We grilled and chilled out on the balcony enjoying our million dollar view, taste tested the gorgeous roasted tomato pesto and chose some props for plating. All credit for plating and photos goes to my eldest son. Thank you sweetie!!!

Flame Kissed Tomato Pesto Tapas /

You are just going to love these flame kissed tomato pesto tapas as they are one perfect little bite filled with all the flavours of the grilled veggies and shrimp, nutty quinoa and the lip smacking tasty grilled tomato pesto. These little tapas are going to knock your socks off. Flame kissed tomato pesto tapas are gluten-free, diabetic and cardiac friendly, low-carb, dairy-free, egg-free and can be easily made vegan just by leaving off the shrimp.

Flame Kissed Tomato Pesto Tapas /

Entertaining outdoors and enjoying some of this lovely weather is very nice. Letting everyone take part in the process and lending you hand with some of the tasks when entertaining is even more awesome! Enjoying these little flame kissed veggie tapas with a little glass of wine or lime soda is even more sublime.  Whether you enjoy this combination as a fun little tapas or just a grilled veggie quinoa bowl with grilled tomato pesto, I promise you will want to keep going back for more.

Flame Kissed Tomato Pesto Tapas /

You can grill any little vegetable your heart desires, so do not feel restricted by the items on this list. I would have loved to grill eggplant and mushrooms too. Maybe you would like grilled flank steak, chicken, fish or even grilled tofu instead of shrimp...Knock yourself out and have some fun with this dish! If you do not have sun-dried tomatoes, just leave them  out as this pesto is great even without it. I think you are seeing where I am going with this. This dish is perfect for substitutions. You may choose to double up on the recipe for the grilled tomato pesto recipe as it really is delicious and it so good on so many different dishes.

Flame Kissed Tomato Pesto Tapas /

You can make a meal out of these delicious flame kissed veggies, grilled tomato pesto and quinoa by creating "grilled veggie quinoa bowls". A grilled veggie quinoa bowl meal comes highly suggested, according to my youngest teenager who licked his bowl clean and came running back for seconds. I could not make my little Flame Kissed Tomato Pesto Tapas appetisers fast enough for him. If you want to make a "grilled veggie quinoa bowl, mix the quinoa with a large dollop of the delicious grilled tomato pesto and then top with your roasted tomato pesto quinoa bowl with loads of grilled vegetables, shrimp and top with a little fresh parley or basil. You could even make this healthy meal completely vegan if you just left off the shrimp and added a few garbanzo beans or even grilled tofu on top.

Flame Kissed Tomato Pesto Tapas /

I have created this recipe for 4 adult sized portions to eat as a grilled veggie quinoa bowl with grilled tomato pesto.  You can adjust the amounts if it is just for a snack or a meal. You can grill any vegetables your little heart desires so have fun during your visit your market to see what is fresh and in season. I used wooden skewers to make my vegetables like a kabob because I do not have one of those veggie grill trays but if you have one of those, that would work great too. Lets get on to the recipe and get grilling!

Flame Kissed Tomato Pesto Tapas /

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Flame Kissed Tomato Pesto Tapas

By HWC Magazine  , , , , ,

May 11, 2015

Flame kissed veggie tapas topped off with a dollop of nutty quinoa, rich red roasted tomato pesto and grilled shrimp.

  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yields: 4 Adults or 1 Hungry Teenager


Grilled Veggies (Feel Free to Use any Vegetables you Like)

zucchini (courgette) - 1 medium sized washed and cut into slices on an angle

onion - 1 large cut into fourths and separated into sections (save 1/2 for tapas and 1/2 for grilled tomato pesto)

bell peppers - 2 (red and yellow cut into large 1.5 inch squares)

asparagus - 14 ounces (tough ends removed and peeled at the bottom if tough)

tomatoes - 1 and 1/2 cup Malaysian grape washed and left whole

olive oil - 1/4 cup (reserve a little for your shrimp)

salt and pepper - to taste

garlic - 1-2 cloves minced (reserve a little for your shrimp)

shrimp - 1 pound peeled and deveined (you can leave the tail on if you wish)


quinoa - 4 cups cooked (according to package directions)

Grilled Tomato Pesto

grilled tomatoes - 3/4 cup of grilled Malaysian grape tomatoes from the grilled veggies above)

grilled onions - 1/2 of the grilled onion

sun dried tomatoes - 1/2 cup (Soaked in warm water to soften and drained)

garlic - 2 cloves

basil leaves - 1/2 cup fresh

parsley - 1/2 cup fresh (flat leaf or curly is fine)- save a little extra for garnish if you wish

olive oil - 1/4 cup

salt and pepper - to taste


1Place zucchini (courgettes), onion, bell peppers, asparagus, tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper and garlic in a bowl or baggie to marinate for at least 30 minutes. In a separate container place shrimp, a little olive oil, salt and pepper and garlic to marinate for at least 30 minutes. Soak bamboo skewers in water so they do not burn during the grilling process.  (You can skip soaking the bamboo skewers, if you have a vegetable tray for the grill or have metal skewers.)

2Cook your quinoa according to the directions and set aside. Place your sun dried tomatoes in warm water to soften. (Takes about 15 minutes for sun dried tomatoes to soften)

3Preheat your grill. I placed my marinated vegetables (zucchini (courgettes), onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper and garlic) on the pre-soaked wooden skewers and placed on the grill to cook. I placed my asparagus directly on the grill. I placed all the harder vegetables closer to the heat and placed the tomatoes on indirect heat. I turned my vegetables every 2-3 minutes and the harder vegetables (peppers and onions) took about 8 minutes. The zucchini only took about 5 minutes total to get some awesome grill marks.  I cooked the asparagus directly on the grill and they took about 3 minutes on each side to cook. The tomatoes only took about 4 minutes on the grill or just until ready to burst. Remove vegetables from grill and keep warm. Add your shrimp on the BBQ grill and cook. Shrimp only takes about 1-2 minutes on each side to cook (depending on the size of your shrimp). Cook the shrimps just until pink and no longer translucent.

4In your food processor, place in the grilled tomato, grilled onions, pre-soaked sun dried tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste and pulse together until well blended. If you need a little extra moisture just to get the food processor to go around, use a little water (a teaspoon at a time) just enough to get it going. Your goal is a nice thick and delicious grilled tomato pesto.

5Mix your grilled tomato pesto in with quinoa until well mixed.

6If you want to make fun little Flame Kissed Tomato Pesto Tapas (appetiser): Layer in a stack starting with the larger grilled zucchini then top with grilled peppers, onions, a teaspoon side dollop of grilled tomato pesto quinoa. Next nestle a shrimp in the grilled tomato pesto quinoa and garnish with a wedge of asparagus and a little parsley or basil. Serve to your guests and enjoy!

7If you want to make delicious grilled veggie quinoa bowls (Complete Meal): Add one cup of the grilled tomato pesto quinoa to the bottom of the bowl. Garnish your bowl with loads delicious grilled bell peppers, asparagus, onions, zucchini, shrimp, etc and then garnish with a little chopped parsley and basil on top. Enjoy!

  • Those are too pretty to eat!!! But they sound so delicious.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks Mimi! My son did all the plating and he did an awesome job!

  • What a great idea! Can almost taste how delicious these are.
    Have a super day Bam.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Mandy! We are always cooking out on the grill. Everything just seems to taste better.

  • Wow!! These are so colorful and beautiful! I’m sure they taste amazing as well.

    • Bams Kitchen

      thanks Mary! I give full credit to my son, he did the plating and was the inspiration for this lovely appetizer. I am so excited to have a budding foodie in the family.

  • You and your eldest sure did have fun coming up with this – and, Bobbie, he is quite the budding foodie with his creativity and presentation skills! Love the versatility of this and that tomato pesto with quinoa might just become our dinner tonight!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks Shashi, I will certainly pass on your kind words to him. I bet you have loads of fun cooking with your daughter as well. Usually my teenagers are just the QA analysts but sometimes they like to lend a hand in the creation.

  • Creativity certainly runs in your family. That’s fantastic that your son is so interested in creating new food ideas and it sound like you had a great time putting this together. What is it with guys and grills though? Mind you, I’m not complaining when my husband takes over the cooking on the grill.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Diane, I love when kids take a liking to some of the same passions we have, how fun is that! Yes, what is it with guys and grills!!! I am shocked they do not beat their chest like Tarzan just to get pumped up for the cooking event. I am more than happy to hand over the grilling tongs to the boys. Wishing you a super weekend.

  • This looks amazing! Your son is obviously very talented and needs to hang out in the kitchen (or by the grill) more often. : ) Not only does it look good but the pesto, the layers…it just sounds delicious. This is something I’d be happy to see comes at me at a top-notch restaurant.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Aww, thanks for your sweet comment Monica. I will be certain to pass your message on to him.

  • kitchenriffs

    The plating is really good — your son has talent. Pictures are good, too — but that’s your talent. 😉 Really nice recipe too — so much fun playing in the kitchen, isn’t it? Must be a lot of fun to do it with your son.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks John! It is so nice to know we have another budding foodie in the household.

  • Aren’t these bites delicious looking! You have an awesome assistant. Fantastic job!

    • Bams Kitchen

      He is an awesome kitchen assistant. You know I was just going to dump everything into a bowl and call it a day and he had an idea…a great one at that.

  • My husband does all the grilling in the family. Your little veggie tapas are so cute , your son did a fantastic job, very creative and tasty. The presentation is fantastic. I love the tomato pesto .

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Gerlinde. I will pass on your kind message to my son. I can’t get my husband any where near the kitchen or the grill , well that is until he is hungry and wants a status update on the progress in the kitchen. LOL

  • Wow, Bobbi! You have, again, created a masterpiece! Too pretty to eat but I bet it tastes just as it looks – awesome! 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks Jas, but I did not create this masterpiece but my little foodie son did. I admit I had a heavy hand with partial clean up but this was his idea and it is even healthy!!! Pretty awesome, huh!

  • deliciousmeetshealthywp

    What a fantastic presentation for these cute tomato pesto tapas! Your son did a great job! Very creative indeed! 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      I think he did an awesome job too and will pass on your very kind comments on to him. A second foodie in the family. Woo hoo!

  • Eha

    The moment I read the dramatic and romantic ‘flame kissed’ I knew we were in for a treat! A beautiful, appetizing, healthy idea innovatively executed. So thrilled for you to learn you have another budding foodie in the family . . . . will make the tomorrows even more fun 🙂 ! Meanwhile I shall copy!!!

    • Bams Kitchen

      I am so excited too Eha! It is so nice to have a partner in crime who is just as picky to get those perfect foodie shots for social media as I am. LOL Heck I am just delighted to have a teenager that says words other than grunts and groans as they pile more food on their plates. Wishing you a super Day!

  • The tomato pesto sounds wonderful in this dish–I’m such a big pesto fan, I could probably eat that by itself! 🙂

  • wow, stunning photograph Bam!!!
    i love tomato pesto too, i used to made it with homemade sun dried tomato too…

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank You Dedy! I bet your homemade sun dried tomatoes would take this dish to a new level.

  • The pesto sounds perfect for all those vegetables 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks Tandy, I just love this grilled tomato pesto it tastes good on steak, chicken, pasta, fish, really it goes well with so many things. I always make a double batch!

  • I love how your son loves cooking with you too! It’s such a great bonding activity isn’t it? Loving those little tapas you have there! We have a balcony but we didn’t have a grill, else I’d love to do some grilling too!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Cooking and baking is a great bonding experience. I think it reminds the boys of the time when they were young and letting the boys lend a hand in the kitchen and I used to let the boys lick the spatulas and the cake beaters (yep I am one of those kind of moms and they actually lived through the experience) I wonder if you can have a gas grill at your apartment on the balcony? Here in HK you can have gas grill but not charcoal grills.

  • Two thumbs up for your son and for these delicious treats both of you made! I wish a had a bite! Pinned!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Katerina! I will certainly pass on your kind words to my son. Of course we will save you some, pop on over!

  • Y does this look so good! Shame on you! Lol

  • Robyn

    Oh my goodness, what a fun and amazing collaboration, Bobbi! Your son has a future in food and photography. The pics are beautiful and the food is simply divine. I can imagine the good time that was had on your balcony creating such a special treat. Love these and love this post. One of my favs ever, Lucky Momma!

  • OMG! So tasty! I’m mouthwatering so much right now…

  • OMG Bobbi, another beautiful and charming dish…I love your son creativity….great flavors and awesome photos!
    Have a great week 🙂

  • Mmmm this looks so delicious and so healthy!! Perfect spring time appetizer 🙂

  • hotlyspiced

    These are so pretty and how lovely to be ‘having some fun’ with your son in the kitchen. I do wish my young adults were as interested. These little bites would be full of flavour xx

  • Wow that looks like a flavour explosion in one bite

  • These look so good!! I would love to try this!

  • You are sure blessed for having such a lovely creative son. Loved the recip so much.

  • These look amazing Bam’s Kitchen! Love your website!!!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you dear! It is so nice keeping up with you on instagram and you make so many delicious dishes in that tiny NY kitchen of yours. Take Care

  • A veggie tapas? What a perfect idea!! I’m so impressed that you used veggies instead of bread for these. They’re so pretty, too. What a clever son!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Helen. This is a great little option for those that cannot eat bread/wheat and it is just as delicious. I will pass on your kind comment to my budding little foodie. Have a super weekend.

  • YES YES YES YES and MORE YES! This is hands down the most delicious bite EVER!!!!! SO many amazing flavors all in one mouthful!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Gigi! The best part about this little appetiser is that it is gluten free, low fat and a relatively healthy little bite, so you can eats lots and lots of bites. Take care

  • i cannot wait to make these. flame kissed.. you tease. hehe MWAH! and YUM!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you dear. I thought and pondered about the naming convention for awhile and then I thought why not, lets have a little fun.

  • this loos divine!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks so much!

  • whiskandshout

    These are honestly just stunning! And I love the name and photos. Too elegant for words, pinning 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Medha! This is a great little appetiser for entertaining.

  • Sounds like you were having way to much fun! What a perfect way to spend time with the family and your flame-kissed vegetables look spectacular!

  • I totally like your tapas idea, what a great recipe. I really would like to try it. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

  • DEar BAM,

    These vege tapas look sensational and I love the idea of using zucchini slices as “toast”

  • You sure did get creative when you fired up that grill. These are awesome tapas! Grilling and eating lighter foods like tapas is what summer is all about. With these last two recipe you sure have got my summer off to a great start.

  • Little bit of drool on the iPad screen. Yarm! Gorgeous photos, and a brill way to get a hit of health. You really are a very clever cook. To the list they go. Mmmmm

  • That tomato pesto sounds really flavorful and great addition to this dish! This is healthy, hearty, and delicious! Not to mention, very pretty dish to impress guests too! 😉

  • I’m gobsmacked by his creativity and style. I’d still want to eat every bite once everyone had oohed and ahhhed about how beautiful everything looks. 🙂

  • Oh my, this makes me want to jump in the computer screen and have a bite, everything sounds amazing in this recipe.
    Bobbi, does creativity runs in your family?

  • Glad you and your son had fun making this recipe. They look wow amazing and I am so ready to try this out pretty soon 🙂 I’m still new to quinoa and have no idea what to do with them. This will be a great place to start 🙂

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