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Parmesan shortbreads with roasted tomatoes, pesto and mozzarella

Crispy shortbread casings filled with a sweet roasted tomato, creamy mozzarella and herby pesto: these bite-size canapes are sure to impress your guests. The recipe comes to us from catering experts, Entrée Catering.

Serves: 40

Ingredients

2 cups fresh basil
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium-sized, minced garlic cloves
Salt and black pepper
60g sifted flour
salt
cayenne pepper
45g diced cold butter
60g grated parmesan
20 halved cherry tomatoes
2 tsp (10ml) olive oil
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) runny honey
Salt and black pepper
20 bocconchini or baby mozzarella

Method

For the roasted tomatoes:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Place tomato halves on an oven tray and sprinkle with oil, honey, salt and pepper. Roast in oven until softened, 20 minutes.

For the parmesan shortbread:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place flour, a pinch salt, cayenne, butter, parmesan and any additional flavouring, if using in a food processor, pulse to form a smooth dough. Roll out dough on a floured surface to a 0.5 cm thickness. Stamp out 40 rounds with the pastry cutter. Place dough rounds on parchment lined baking sheets 2cm apart and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bake until golden brown, 8 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.

For the basil pesto:
Combine the basil and the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

To assemble:
Top shortbreads with tomatoes and mozzarella, garnish with fresh basil leaves and place a dollop of basil pesto on each one.

Recipe by Cape-based catering company, Entrée Catering.

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