Sometimes simple recipes can produce elegant results. That’s how I feel about these salad cups. Ever since I made Parmesan Crisps for my Roasted Tomato Basil Soup recipe, I’ve wanted to make them into cups (surprise, surprise…you know me and my muffin tins!). When I was thinking about what to put into the cups, Caesar salad was the first thing to pop into my head. I found a great light Caesar dressing recipe on Cooking Light and reduced the quantity and I think the tangy flavor works really well here. If you want to make these super easy you could always use your favorite light Caesar bottled dressing, but the one below is easy to throw together and really flavorful. These fancy little Caesar cups would be great as a first course at a dinner party, an appetizer, a side dish, or even just a fun snack. At only 47 calories each, you may want to eat them for all of the above!
Caesar Salad Parmesan CupsSource: Emily Bites Original, dressing adapted from Cooking Light
3 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (freshly grated from a block, not the kind that comes in a can – use the small-hole side of a box cheese grater to grate your own)
3 T fat free plain Greek yogurt
1 ½ t fresh lemon juice
1 ½ t extra virgin olive oil
1 t red wine vinegar
1 t Worcestershire sauce
½ t anchovy paste (omit if making this vegetarian)
½ t Dijon mustard
¼ t black pepper
1 small garlic clove, minced
4 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
1. Preheat the oven to 300. Lightly mist a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
2. Working in batches (I did 3-4 per baking sheet, so 3 batches) make 10 piles of 2 tablespoons of Parmesan each onto the parchment paper, leaving several inches in between. If there is extra Parmesan set it aside. With the back of a spoon, flatten each pile until evenly spread into a thin circle. Bake each tray on the middle rack in the oven for 3 - 3 ½ minutes until cheese is bubbly but not yet golden/crisp. Remove from oven and immediately life each cheese round off the sheet with a metal spatula and transfer it into a cup in the prepared muffin tin. Use your fingers to push the cheese into the cup to shape it. When all 10 piles have been transferred to the muffin tin, place the tin into the oven and back the cups for an additional 5 minutes or until the cups are golden and crispy. Allow the cups to cool for a minute and then remove them from the tin to cool.
3. While the cups are baking, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, anchovy paste, Dijon mustard, pepper and garlic in a bowl and whisk together until thoroughly combined. In a large bowl, combine the dressing and lettuce together and toss to coat.
4. When the Parmesan cups have cooled, fill each one with about ¼ cup of the dressed salad and sprinkle any remaining grated Parmesan over the tops of the cups. Serve immediately.
*You can store the Parmesan cups in a Ziploc or airtight container in the refrigerator for several days. Only dress the portion of salad you plan to use and store any leftover dressing, lettuce and Parmesan cups separately. Assemble as needed.
Yields 10 cups. WW P+: 1 per cup (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
Nutrition Information per cup from myfitnesspal.com: 47 calories, 1 g carbs, 3 g fat, 4 g protein, 0 g fiber