Tomato Cheese Cups
an economical appetizer and very easy to make.
I was going to say this time of year we look for quick and easy recipes, but life seems to always be hectic so I’m changing my tune – this is for anytime of the year.
This is a budget friendly recipe if you use day old bread and tomatoes that are in abundance.
You can chop the tomatoes if they are not ‘slice worthy’ and gently press them into the cheese and then sprinkle a little more cheese on top before baking.
Prepare these tomato cheese cups in advance and bake them just before you are ready to serve. Use whatever cheese compliments your menu, the tomatoes can take it. Add herbs to compliment your choice of cheese – basil, parsley, rosemary, etc.
Multigrain bread is what I usually have on hand but this week I had some oatmeal bread left over from French Toast I made. The bread gets toasty in the oven, it has a light crunch and the flavor comes from the seasoned olive oil that is spread on the bread before baking.
Simple ingredients for the tomato cheese cups are a clove of garlic, some olive oil, chopped parsley and/or basil, roma tomatoes (the roma tomatoes fit nicely into the cups) and mozzarella, grated cheese and of course bread. Easy, so let’s get started.
- 6 slices of bread, crust removed
- 6 slices of roma tomatoes (about 2 medium or 3 small tomatoes)
- 6 large cubes of mozzarella (slice mozzarella into 2 1" thick slices and cut into cubes)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove crushed
- salt & pepper to taste
- chopped parsley and/or basil
- ¼ cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Crush and chop the garlic and add it to the olive oil. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Remove the crust from each slice of bread and using a rolling pin flatten the slices of bread.
- Brush each slice of bread with the seasoned oil.
- Place each slice of bread into a full size muffin cup. You can squeeze it/fold it to fit.
- Place a cube of mozzarella into the cup. Add a pinch of salt & pepper and a pinch of grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Top with a tomato slice, add another pinch of salt & pepper, brush a little more oil on the tomato and bake in a 350 over for about 10-15 minutes, or until the bread is lightly toasted and the cheese melts.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley and/or basil, a little more cheese if desired and serve.
TIP: Save the crust from the bread to make bread crumbs. Store it in the fridge to keep it fresh for future use.
For a special occasions or if you are having guests for dinner you can certainly spruce up the recipe and use puff pastry or phyllo dough.