As a starter course or appetizer bite, this caper and olive salad is served in a Parmigiano cup for an elegant aperitif.
As an appetizer or a delicious snack, this bite is excellent served as an aperitif. You can enhance the recipe to make it more hearty with with rice or boiled eggs and it becomes a light, but full, first course. For the success of the Parmigiano baskets it is preferable to use true Parmigiano cheese and not Parmesan, its imitation. You can make the baskets following one of the two versions listed here.
Caper and Olive Salad in a Parmigiano CupVeronica Levenia
- 200 g 7 oz Parmigiano cheese, grated
- 5 romaine lettuce leaves
- 8 sun-dried tomatoes
- 4 tbsp pitted olives
- 1 tbsp desalted capers
- 1 hot chili pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil to taste
- 1 lemon juiced
- Sea salt to taste
Oven baked Parmigiano baskets:
- Cut four squares of parchment paper and pour a spoonful of grated Parmigiano on each sheet. With the back of the spoon, spread out the cheese to form a circle with a diameter of 15–20 cm (6–8 in).
- Bake at 180°C (350°F/gas 4), in a preheated oven, for 5 minutes or until the edges of the disk begin to take on a golden color.
- Remove from the oven, wait a moment and mold the Parmigiano disks into small bowls to give them the shape of a basket. Leave to cool and then remove the baking paper from the back.
- Parmigiano baskets cooked in a frying pan: 1. Pour a spoonful of the grated Parmigiano into a nonstick skillet pan. With the back of the spoon, spread out the cheese to form a circle with a diameter of 15–20 cm (6–8 in).
- Cook until the edges of the disk begin to take on a golden color.
- Remove from the pan and mold the Parmigiano disk into a small bowl to give it the shape of a basket To make the salad:
- Wash the lettuce and chop. Chop the dried tomatoes and olives. Wash and drain the capers under cold water. Dice the hot pepper.
- Put all the vegetables in a bowl.
- In another bowl, add the oil, lemon juice and salt. Mix to emulsify and pour the vinaigrette onto the vegetables.
- Arrange the salad in the Parmigiano baskets and serve immediately.
Veronica is a born and raised Italian. She inherited her love for travel, passion for cooking and natural, sustainable, healthy slow food from her parents. Her works have appeared in 'Vegetarian Living', 'Veggie Magazine', 'Lifestyle food', 'Australian Good Food & Travel Guide', 'Chickpea' and 'Free from Heaven', among others. She is the author of "Panini: the simple tastes of Italian style bread"; 'The Rustic Italian bakery", "The Vegetarian Italian Kitchen" and "A Modern Italian table", published by New Holland Publishers Australia.