I don’t know if I’m just getting lazier as I get older, or if looking for shortcuts and “semi-homemade” options just fits with it being summer, when I’d rather be enjoying being outside and so many summer activities! Whatever it is, my latest creation is a perfect savory for taking with afternoon tea (even if it isn’t in sandwich form!).
Though by no means very original as food ideas go, I was hankering the other day for a caprese salad, and had the thought that maybe I could just make it work with small phyllo cups so it would be the size of one bite and be portable, something one could easily pick up off a serving plate for tea.
I’ve almost always got pre-made mini phyllo dough shells stored away in my freezer, like these made by Athens Foods. (I mean, you never know when you’re going to get inspired and need a little phyllo dough – formed or unformed!). I’ve used these before with my Goat Cheese, Honey and Fig Tassies, and will doubtless use them many more times to come.
These salad cups are so simple I don’t even feel like I can call my instructions a “recipe”. In short, one simply cuts up the basic ingredients of a caprese salad (tomato, fresh mozzarella and basil from your herb garden), combine them with a little olive oil, pepper and dash of salt to taste, mix, and presto, you’re good to go.
Mine is not a pure “caprese”, as I did add a bit of cucumber (from the small Persian kind, which are fab!). I’m always looking for ways to integrate cucumber into my diet – just a favorite food. I also squeezed a little fresh lemon over it as well.
You could add other finely chopped items, like avocado for a little variation in texture. Or try it with dill instead of basil – whatever flavors and textures tickle your fancy!
I love the small heirloom cherry tomatoes, when you can get a variety of types in one package (if I don’t have any in the garden). The variation in color looks so pretty against the white and green of the other ingredients.
The fresh ingredients make all the difference – it’s the perfect salad for this time of year – simple, fresh and clean. And using phyllo cups make them portable and perfect for afternoon tea!