Crisp Parmesan Baskets Filled with Goat Cheese
- SERVINGS: MAKES ABOUT 32 BASKETS
To dress these up, top the goat cheese with thin shavings from a fresh truffle. Before removing the Parmesan rounds from the oven, have an empty, inverted paper egg carton ready for forming the baskets.
- 2 cups very finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 8 ounces)
- 8 ounces goat cheese, softened
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, cilantro or parsley, or a combination
- 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons each of walnut pieces, halved and pitted Niçoise olives and tiny fresh herb sprigs, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400°. Spoon 6 evenly spaced tablespoon-size mounds of the grated Parmesan cheese on a heavy nonstick baking sheet. Pat each mound into a fairly even 3-inch round. Bake for about 3 minutes, or until bubbling and golden brown. Working quickly, remove the lacy rounds from the sheet and drape them over an upturned paper egg carton to mold them slightly. They will crisp up as they cool. Repeat with the remaining Parmesan.
- In a small bowl, combine the goat cheese, olive oil, vinegar and chopped herbs and stir until smooth. Add the milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the cheese is easily spreadable. Season with salt and pepper. Using 2 teaspoons or a pastry bag fitted with a small tip, fill each basket with a little dollop of goat cheese. Decorate with the garnishes and serve.