By Chef Lippe
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon, plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup blanched almonds, slivered or sliced
14 flower cheese crisps
1 – 12 ounce net weight jar of roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry
1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, plus 14 leaves for decoration
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (or Parmesan)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons basil pesto
4 ounces creamy goat cheese or cream cheese
3 ¾” flower cookie cutter
mini muffin pan
food processor or blender
disposable pastry bag or zip top bag
Place a small piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Set two garlic cloves on foil. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Wrap up foil around garlic and place in oven. Turn oven on to 350 degrees. Roast for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cut off the ends off each garlic clove and squeeze out the roasted garlic. Dispose of the outer paper like peel. Set aside.
Spread almonds on the baking sheet and place in oven to roast until golden brown for 5-7 minutes, stirring them half way through. Keep a close eye on the almonds so they don’t burn. Allow to cool.
To make the flower shaped cups:
Turn a mini muffin pan upside down. Use a flower shaped cookie cutter to shape shredded parmigiano reggiano cheese into flowers. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes.
Drape the flowers over the mini muffin cups, as soon as you remove them from oven Allow to cool, then remove them from the muffin pans.
While the flower cups are baking, make the roasted red pepper pesto:
Combine roasted red peppers, roasted garlic, toasted almonds, chopped flat leaf Italian parsley, lemon juice, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse until well blended but not smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
To create your appetizers:
Spoon a heaping teaspoon of creamy goat cheese or cream cheese into the bottom of each flower cup. Press it down into the cup using the back of your spoon. Press one parsley leaf into the cheese in each cup, allowing the leaf to jut out from the side of the cup. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of the roasted red pepper into each cup. Spoon the basil pesto into a disposable pastry bag or zip top bag. Cut off the tip. Pipe a small dot of pesto into the center of each flower cup.
Your appetizers are ready to serve.
A few notes about this recipe:
You can make the roasted red pepper pesto several days ahead of time if you store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Do not refrigerate filled cups as they will get soggy.
These pretty flowers could also be made using roasted yellow peppers which would look lovely on the table at a bridal shower or ladies lunch.