Apr 27
2010

Crispy Parmesan Cheese & Rosemary Cups Recipe with Spinach & Strawberry Salad

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Crispy Parmesan Cheese & Rosemary Cups Recipe with Spinach & Strawberry Salad

When it comes to browned cheese, it is a punishable offense to wash any dish before every morsel of the toasty bits have been peeled off and savored. Each New Year’s Eve, we get together with our dear friends to ring in the coming year. The traditionalists in the group (I am admittedly one of the worst) insist upon our customary meal of cheese fondue – at least two large, bubbling pots. An evening of lively conversation inevitable turns into tipsy revelry and fondue games – if the bread on your skewer is knocked off, turn and give the person next to you a quick smooch (unless said person is your spouse, in which case the smooch can be as involved as you please). Seating arrangements are made with great forethought.

Once the last of the cheese fondue has been sopped up, a little gem of culinary goodness is left resting on the bottom of each post. The croûte. Ahh, the croûte. At our table, you have to be quick if you want a taste of this golden layer of cheese. And, really, we’re not shy about the whole thing. We stand around the pot, chiseling out the remains of our celebration meal, licking our fingers and groaning in approval.

In an effort to recreate the pleasure of that ritual feast, I made some Parmesan cheese cups, forming them in muffin tins and filled them with a lightly dressed spinach salad. The pretty presentation belies the ease of the recipe.

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup (packed) finely grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, and 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour.


Heat a small, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Be sure the pan is fully heated before adding the cheese. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan mixture into a 4-inch circle in the middle of the skillet.


Cook until the circle starts to hold together as you lift it off of the pan and the bottom is starting to brown, about 1 minute. Using an offset spatula, lift the circle of cheese from the pan and flip to the other side. Cook for an additional 15 seconds. Gently press the circle into a muffin tin. Repeat with the remaining cheese, to make a total of 8 cheese cups.


Let the cheese cups cool completely in the muffin tin. When ready to use, carefully lift them out of the tin.

In a small skillet set over medium heat, lightly toast 2 tablespoons slivered almonds. Watch them carefully so that they don’t burn!


In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup (packed) spinach leaves, torn into small pieces, the toasted almonds, and a simple vinaigrette made of 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Only use enough vinaigrette to lightly dress the spinach.

Place the cheese cups on a serving platter and gently fill with the salad. Top each salad serving with a fresh strawberry slice. Serve immediately.


Other salads with Parmesan crisps:

I Nom Things’ Asian Pear & Parmesan Salad
Pages, Pucks & Pantry’s Heirloom Tomato Napoleon with Parmesan Crisps
Technicolor Kitchen’s Parmesan Wafer Salad
More Than Burnt Toast’s Spicy Baby Caesar Salad with Crisp Parmesan Crisps

Crispy Parmesan Cheese & Rosemary Cups Recipe with Spinach & Strawberry Salad

Yield: Makes 4 servings (2 cups per person)

Crispy Parmesan Cheese & Rosemary Cups Recipe with Spinach & Strawberry Salad

From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck. www.cookincanuck.com

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (packed) Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (packed) spinach leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds, lightly toasted
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 large strawberries, cut into quarters

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, combine Parmesan cheese, rosemary, and flour.
  2. Heat a small, nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Be sure the pan is fully heated before adding the cheese. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan mixture into a 4-inch circle in the middle of the skillet. Cook until the circle starts to hold together as you lift it off of the pan and the bottom is starting to brown, about 1 minute.
  3. Using an offset spatula, lift the circle of cheese from the pan and flip to the other side. Cook for an additional 15 seconds. Gently press the circle into a muffin tin. Repeat with the remaining cheese, to make a total of 8 cheese cups. Let the cheese cups cool completely in the muffin tin. When ready to use, carefully lift them out of the tin.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine spinach, toasted almonds, and a simple vinaigrette made of the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Only use enough vinaigrette to lightly dress the spinach.
  5. Place the cheese cups on a serving platter and gently fill with the salad. Top each salad serving with a fresh strawberry slice. Serve immediately.

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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica @ How Sweet April 28, 2010 at 10:47 am

I must try those parmesan cups! They sound and look incredible.

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2 pegasuslegend April 28, 2010 at 11:15 am

What a great filling, I love making these, I have always used them as a dip cup this is a great idea will try this one for sure! love these they are great fun at any party :)

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3 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) April 28, 2010 at 11:50 am

I'm always looking for appetizers that are simple and elegant — but most of all, simple! This looks delicious and it's definitely going into the rotation for my dinner party menus.

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4 Bellini Valli April 28, 2010 at 12:04 pm

It is traditional for us to have cheese fondue on Christmas Eve. My daughter insists on it. I do remember the crunchy bottom snd I do love cheese nests for my salad.

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5 Maria April 28, 2010 at 1:49 pm

The cups are so fun!

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6 Kalyn April 28, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Such a pretty presentation, and I bet the cheese nests taste wonderful too.

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7 Maggy @ Three Many Cooks April 28, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Wow! These are great – totally impressive to look at and the flavors are delicious.

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8 Jenny April 28, 2010 at 2:37 pm

I'm in love with these Dara! How beautiful they are! Very nice :0)

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9 Chef E April 28, 2010 at 2:40 pm

A total yum on this!

I made Parm taco shells once for a chicken Cesar salad taco, and they are so tasty, I cannot help but eat a few 'broken' ones, lol

Love this recipe!

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10 doggybloggy April 28, 2010 at 2:55 pm

I could just load up on the cheese cups ….

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11 Michelle April 28, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I made some cookies that were similar the parmesan cups and I can only imagine how good these were with the fresh strawberries!

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12 LilSis April 28, 2010 at 3:36 pm

I LOVE this idea! I've never seen anything like them with the strawberries on top. I'll be making these next time I have friends over.

And, it's the same around my house, any time we make nachos, no one is allowed to move the cookie sheet until every last little bit of melted cheese is eaten of the pan. (By me, of course!)

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13 Food-G April 28, 2010 at 4:03 pm

This is such a great idea! Beautiful photo, good instructions, and a great story. You never disappoint : )

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14 Susan-CookingtoSave April 28, 2010 at 4:03 pm

These look great Dara! Now, we need the fondue recipe!

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15 Emily Ziegler April 28, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Oh my gosh! This is amazing. I am beyond impressed!!!

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16 Cookin' Canuck April 28, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Thanks so much for all of your kind comments.

Susan, I promise to post the cheese fondue recipe someday.

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17 Ruth April 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Loe the mix of flavours. So Italian!!!

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18 Tracy April 28, 2010 at 5:58 pm

How creative, and perfectly summery! Love these!

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19 Suzanne aka vivisue April 28, 2010 at 6:09 pm

I think I have just enough parm to get started NOW! Wow, wow, wow!!

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20 Elina April 28, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Wow these really would be amazing at a party. So healthy yet (I'm sure) delicious. Making parm cups is brilliant!! :)

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21 Daydreamer Desserts April 28, 2010 at 8:01 pm

I've made these before as salad toppers but never as the actual salad container. They are so cute, love the presentation!

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22 Barbara @moderncomfortfood April 28, 2010 at 9:02 pm

I'm simply awestruck by this recipe. It has everything I love in it, is such an innovative use of ingredients, and involves what I can well imagine is a delicious combination of flavors. In a word: brilliant. Many thanks for sharing this gem with us.

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23 Rochelle April 28, 2010 at 9:50 pm

These are beautiful! I have to admit I've never done the parmesan cheese crisps or cups but have always wanted to. This sounds so good I think I have to give it a try!

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24 bunkycooks April 28, 2010 at 9:56 pm

What a wonderful idea. This is such a pretty salad!

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25 Drick April 28, 2010 at 10:19 pm

very, very nice recipe … I can't wait to pull out a pan from the oven when cheese has spilled over, I love to scrape up the brown bits…who knew

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26 Christine@Christine's Recipes April 28, 2010 at 10:40 pm

These Parmesan cheese cups are gorgeous. Love the creative idea of making the salad in cheese nests. I'm going to try and bring some to my upcoming party.

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27 Mother Rimmy April 29, 2010 at 1:08 am

I can't wait to try this. I love the delicate beauty of this dish, and you've filled it with my favorite salad.

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28 Kathy - Panini Happy April 29, 2010 at 2:43 am

These look so lovely and delicate! Those flavors had to be fantastic too.

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29 Anna April 29, 2010 at 4:02 am

What a beautiful appetizer, looks so fresh. Great picture, it will probably be on top 9.

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30 sarah (Catch A Cub In Its Den) April 29, 2010 at 4:27 am

i want to throw a party just so that i have an excuse to make these! the possibilities are endless, thanks!

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31 Krissy @ The Food Addicts April 29, 2010 at 4:45 am

wow these are absolutely gorgeous – but then again, you already know that! the parmesan cheese is so pretty.. its like a delicate netting around the berries. i gotta try this! it makes for a wonderful presentation!

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32 penny aka jeroxie April 29, 2010 at 5:53 am

I do like these little babies. they are so yummy even on its own

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33 Divina Pe April 29, 2010 at 6:48 am

Dara, this is an inspiring recipe. Very fresh and innovative and perfect for entertaining.

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34 MaryMoh April 29, 2010 at 9:35 am

Looks utterly beautiful and delicious. I can eat 10!

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35 Rosemary April 29, 2010 at 10:53 am

Tried to make these once — unsuccessfully. Your beautiful pictures and instructions are encouragement enough to make me try again! Thanks!

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36 Chef Fresco April 29, 2010 at 2:30 pm

I love this! These cups are soo cute! Beautiful appetizer for a party1

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37 Skylar Wolfe April 29, 2010 at 2:37 pm

I love the sweet addition to this, and they look just fantastic

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38 Angie's Recipes April 29, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Beautiful cheesy cups! So colourful and well-presented.

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39 Megan April 29, 2010 at 3:40 pm

I've had the cheese crisps as crackers but I love you made them into cups. Your NYE party sounds like a blast. I love fondue!

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40 polwig April 29, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I love the presentation the parmesian crisps are wonderful. What a great idea to serve a salad in them.

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41 alwayshungry April 29, 2010 at 5:07 pm

That is simply beautifull.

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42 lisaiscooking April 29, 2010 at 6:19 pm

These are so pretty! A great salad idea for Mother's Day.

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43 Gera @ SweetsFoodsBlog April 29, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Cheese cups topped with a fresh strawberry slice..this is heavenly, excellent tasty job!!

Cheers,

Gera

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44 Fuji Mama April 30, 2010 at 1:08 am

I've had something similar as a garnish, but never as an edible salad bowl–love it!!! K, now I want to throw a dinner party JUST so I can make and serve these!

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45 Barbara Bakes April 30, 2010 at 1:45 am

I've made Parmesan crisps before, but not little cups. What a great idea. My husband is the designated toasty bits eater at our house.

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46 Elin April 30, 2010 at 12:16 pm

CC,
What can I say except that you are such a creative person and thank you for sharing this wonderful cheesy cups…and when I saw it here I wanted grab from the Window…that alluring your cheesy cups like lace cups :)

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47 Mark April 30, 2010 at 1:30 pm

This looks great!

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48 Trix April 30, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Stunning!! Honetly, I am 100% for all edible bowls, plates, cups – you name it.

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49 Lori Lynn May 1, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Those are simply lovely! Great combination of ingredients!
LL

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50 Peggy May 2, 2010 at 2:57 pm

i don't even think i could get to the part where i'd have to fill the cups with something, i think i'd just start eating the cups! these look great!

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51 Brie: Le Grand Fromage May 10, 2010 at 1:04 am

wow, those are so delicate and crispy – looks great!

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52 Lyns June 9, 2010 at 11:23 pm

These look just wonderful!

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53 I Love Parmesan Cheese! August 1, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Thanks for posting this recipe. It has everything I like (especially parmesan!)

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54 Nancy Vecchione January 29, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Can you make these ahead of time and then fill at the last minute? Was thinking they might work well for my daughter's wedding but not if they can't be made ahead, any input appreciated. Thanks.

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55 The Cilantropist May 10, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Just saw these over on Ree’s Strawberry Roundup and I had to come and see the full recipe – this is genius!!! I love the look of the small parmesan cups and filling with strawberries and salad is an interesting combo.

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56 Elizabeth Ann May 10, 2011 at 6:00 pm

OH MY WORD! ;-) These are beautiful! :-)

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57 twomatoes May 11, 2011 at 7:27 am

waw!! lovely, i will be cooking this soon ^_^ thnx for the recipe

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58 Jen @ keepitsimplefoods May 11, 2011 at 10:22 am

I love the idea of molding the parmesean into cups. Very clever! I’ll have to give that a try.

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