From Nambé: Today we have Beth from Hungry Happenings at Inside Nambé sharing this fantastic recipe for springtime appetizers. We love bright flower crisps she created for Nambé, and we hope you do, too!
What is the weather like where you live? Here, it has been unseasonably warm and the sun has been shining a lot. It makes me so very happy. Normally January and February are torture for me; when the skies are gray and so am I. Today feels like spring. The grass is already turning green and birds are fluttering by, singing as they go. When I took my dogs for a walk earlier, I even saw some green stems poking up through the ground. The flowers will be blooming soon.
I think that is something to celebrate, don’t you? So, I created some colorful flower shaped appetizers to share with you today. Each baked cup is made from a flower shaped egg roll wrapper and is filled with creamy goat cheese and roasted red pepper pesto. They are decorated with a sprig of Italian parsley and a dot of basil pesto. These bite sized appetizers look lovely on their on, but displayed on my new Nambé Morphik Two-Tiered Server, they really shine.
Recently, the kind folks at Nambé allowed me to choose a serving piece from their incredible collection of award winning, handcrafted designs to use to display one of my recipes. It was so hard to choose my favorite piece, as their serveware, flatware, dinnerware, barware, and home decor pieces made of stainless steel, fine porcelain, full-lead crystal, copper, or their signature alloy are all exquisite. After spending over an hour looking at every piece on their website, I decided that anything I could make would look amazing if it were served on this Morphik Two-Tiered Server which is 12″ high and 15″ wide and is constructed of Nambé’s signature alloy and smoked glass.
Now I’m not the kind of girl who gets giddy over a new pair of shoes or swoons over a shiny new car, but when I opened the box and pulled out this beautiful serving piece and set it on my sleek glass and stainless steel dining room table, I did let out a little squeal. My husband wondered what had gotten me so excited, but wasn’t surprised at all once he came into the room to see me standing there admiring the new addition to my dining room.
I was so pleased with my new Morphik Two-Tiered Server and want to share that joy with one of you. I’m giving one of these stunning serving pieces away. O.K., really Nambé is giving one away, but I get to be the one to give the winner the good news. But, before we get to that, let me share this delectable appetizer recipe.
Flower Crisps filled with Creamy Goat Cheese and
Roasted Red Pepper Pesto (makes 14)
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon, plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup blanched almonds, slivered or sliced
7 egg roll wrappers*
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
*You will cut 14 flowers out of 7 egg roll wrappers. If you prefer not to have a flower shaped cups, you can cut circles out of the egg roll wrappers or use round won ton wrappers instead.
3 3/4″ flower cookie cutter
mini muffin pans
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 cut out 14 flowers from the egg roll wrappers. In order to get two flowers out of each wrapper, cut the first flower as close to the edges of one corner as possible.
Drape the flowers over the mini muffin cups, leaving room in between each. Bake for 4 minutes, then rotate the pan and return it to the oven for 3-4 more minutes until the flower cups are golden brown. Allow to cool, them 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 the refrigerator. The cups will also keep for several days if stored at room temperature. Fill the cups shortly before you are ready to serve them so they stay crispy. 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 luncheon. You can easily double or triple this recipe to meet your needs.