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Caesar Salad Parmesan Cups

These mini parmesan cups are the perfect finger food for any occasion! They're also loaded with a quick and ridiculously Caesar Salad.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Appetizer, Lunch
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 12 cups
Calories: 50kcal
Cost: £1 / $1

Equipment

  • Large Baking Tray & Parchment Paper
  • Plastic Spatula
  • Muffin Tray
  • Medium Sized Mixing Bowl & Salad Tossers
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Frying Pan (for chicken/pancetta)
  • Fine Cheese Grater
  • Paper Towels

Ingredients

  • 5oz / 150g freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 head of Romaine Lettuce, chopped
  • 1 cup / 60g Croutons (see notes)
  • Caesar Salad Dressing, to preference
  • 1 Chicken Breast grilled/fried & diced (optional)
  • 3.5oz / 100g Pancetta or Bacon, diced (optional)

Instructions

  • Pre heat oven to 180C/350F.
  • Working in batches of 4 at a time, add a couple of tbsp of parmesan to a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Spread out to around 3" wide, making sure the circles don't touch each other.
  • Bake in the oven for 4-5mins, or until the parmesan has melted and is just starting to turn golden. Remove from the oven and leave for 30 seconds, or until you're able to use a spatula to lift them. Try to work fairly quickly (see notes).
  • Immediately place over an upside down muffin tray, place a sheet of paper towel over the top then gently mould the parmesan around the muffin hole. If you're struggling to form the cup without it breaking, leave the parmesan on the muffin hole and place it in the oven for a minute or so. It'll melt around the hole. Once it's cool enough to handle remove it and place to one side. Repeat process 2 more times with remaining parmesan.
  • In a medium sized mixing bowl combine lettuce with a few dollops Caesar dressing and chicken. Start off conservatively with the dressing and work your way up so the salad doesn't drown. Divide between cups then top with pancetta and croutons. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

a) Croutons - To make croutons just cube up a few slices of bread, preferably a day or so old. Combine with a good glug of olive oil oil and preferred seasoning (I use Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and black pepper). Then spread out on a baking tray and bake at 180C/350F for 20mins or so, shaking frequently until deep golden.
b) Parmesan Texture - The longer you bake the parmesan, the deeper golden it'll turn and the crispier the cups will be. This will in turn make them more difficult to mould. However, you do want to bake the parmesan just past the stage of melting, just so they're not chewy. I recommend testing one if this is your first go, just to find the perfect texture.
c) Moulding the Parmesan - Another way to do it is with the muffin tray the right way up. Just gently press the parmesan into the holes (using a shot glass works great!). I just prefer the other way because you can use a paper towel to help mould, which not only acts as a barrier to the heat, but also helps absorb the fat. In both cases though you want to work fairly quickly. If the parmesan crisps up too quick and you can't mould the cups just place it back in the oven for a minute to loosen up again. Or, do as I mention in the method and place them over the muffin dents in the oven, they'll wrap themselves around.
d) Calories - Just for the parmesan cups:

Nutrition

Calories: 50kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.64g | Protein: 3.36g | Fat: 3.29g | Saturated Fat: 1.816g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.164g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.843g | Trans Fat: 0.104g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 213mg | Potassium: 21mg | Sugar: 0.01g | Vitamin A: 115IU | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 0.06mg