Tomato and cheese are a marriage made in heaven. This recipe stripped bare is just that, but with amazing creativity in the crisp Parmesan cups, served with the most delicate of tomatoes and herbs. The different textures are pure sensory pleasure. Serves 6 – 8
500 g cherry or Rosa baby tomatoes, quartered 1⁄2 roasted red pepper, skinned and thinly sliced 1⁄2 small red onion, sliced thinly
30 ml capers, chopped
60 ml flat leafed parsley, roughly chopped 30 ml fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped 30 ml olive oil
Juice and rind of 1 small lemon
Maldon salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
50 g goat’s cheese or feta cheese, crumbled Sprigs of fresh basil
260 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese (500 ml) Rind of 1 small lemon
Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
- For Tomato Salad: Mix tomatoes, red pepper, red onion slices, capers, parsley and basil in a large bowl. Add in olive oil, lemon juice and rind.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Make Parmesan Cups: Preheat the oven to 190oC/170oC fan/Gas mark 5.
- Mix Parmesan cheese, lemon rind, and black pepper in a small bowl.
- Place a Silpat mat or baking paper on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Use 6 cm biscuit cutter; drop about 20 ml of the cheese mixture on the baking sheet, spreading cheese mixture lightly to form a circle.
- Make 6 circles on the baking sheet, with at least 5 cm between each row and each Parmesan circle.
- Bake Parmesan biscuits for 8 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbly.
- Meanwhile invert a deep muffin tin and grease the upside-down cups very well.
- Work quickly; while the Parmesan biscuits are still hot, transfer the rounds with a spatula or knife onto the inverted muffin tin. Shape to form a cup.
- If the rounds become too cool and brittle, place back in the hot oven for a minute until they become pliable again; remove and quickly place on the tins.
- Allow to cool on the tins for 3 – 5 minutes; remove carefully. Repeat process with the rest of the Parmesan mixture.
- Fill the cooked Parmesan cups with about 60 ml of the tomato mixture. Season with more salt and pepper if desired; garnish with crumbled cheese. Top with sprigs of fresh basil.
- Serve at room temperature.
- If you have any leftover Parmesan cups, break into chunks and add to your favourite salad, soup or pasta.
- They will store well in a sealed container for two to three days.
- Only fill the Parmesan cups immediately before serving, otherwise they