Vegetable Bread Baskets


I am very fond of entertaining, and hosting parties or gatherings is one of my favorite hobbies:) The other appealing feature is that I get to try different food, especially appetizers and hors'douvres that we don't usually cook in our day-to-day lives. Though I'm not a great cook, I believe that presentation is as important as the taste of the dish; if what you see looks inviting, only then would you be tempted to put it in your mouth, right?!I recently came across a cookbook that showcased only party food recipes, and it got me really inspired. All food does not need to be exotic, but just adding a different look in cooking or presentation can surely turn eyes, and impress your guests. Like these very simple Vegetable Bread Baskets filled with onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, olives and cheese. Quick and easy, these work great as appetizers or a snack with tea! These bread cups are going to dazzle the guests at HOTM-Party Foods!!

Ingredients
6 wheat or white bread slices
2 tbsp oil
1/2 cup green or red bell-peppers- chopped finely
1/2 cup onions - chopped finely
4 tbsp black olives- chopped finely
1/2 cup mushrooms - chopped finely
1 cup mixed yellow and white cheese
4 tbsp margarine - melted
1/2 cup tomato ketchup
1/2 cup green chutney or pesto sauce
salt - to taste
black peper - to taste
3 tbsp dried basil flakes

I would strongly recommend using Green Chutney(Sauce) rather than pesto because it goes very well with the chosen vegetables. If you choose to use Pesto, I'd say replace ketchup with something else or skip it altogether!

Method
Take the bread slices, cut off their edges and keep aside. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, spray cooking spray on a muffin pan, then place each bread slice in the muffin cups. Shape them to form like a basket. You can even flatten them a bit using a rolling pin. Bake for 10-15 mins, making sure to check they they do not burn. It should just become hard and take the shape of a basket.

Take a pan, add 1 tbsp olive or cooking oil, and saute the onions and bell peppers until a bit tender. Add the chopped olives, and mushrooms, season with some salt, pepper and dry basil flakes, and cook a little more.

Now take each bread cup/basket, spread some green chutney with a knife, then add a spoonful of the mixture to it. Drizzle with some ketchup as required, then spread mixed cheese on the top. Lightly brush the 4 corners of the basket with melted margarine so they don't get burnt.

Transfer the cups back to the muffin pan, then bake at 200 degrees for about 7-8 minutes, just until the cheese melts. Now change the oven setting to Broil, and bake the baskets for another 1 minute.

Remove from the oven, let them cool a bit and serve immediately. These cute vegetable baskets are healthy, tasty and definitely the perfect finger food at a party.

Tip: You can add more veggies or even scrambled eggs as a variation.


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55 comments :

Nags said...

i wish i could come to one of your parties! those look so lovely :)

Meeta said...

Haha! Mansi we were on the same wave length you and me. I recently made something similar - just using other ingredients to fill the baskets. I really like the flavors here! Brilliant!

Aparna said...

These are a great idea. Have made these with filled with potatoes, onions, tomatoes, sev/ potato wafers and chat masala.

Asha said...

Very cool snacks! I make Phyllo dough baskets like that, can use puff pastry but these has lot less calories. Good for us!:)

Namratha said...

Very nice way to serve those veggies Mansi, love the idea of using bread too. Good one!

ovenhaven said...

Awww, they look so cute! I totally agree with you; presentation is very important, and although the old adage goes "Don't judge a book by its cover", there's no denying that lovely presentation catches everyone's attention much easier! :)

Vani said...

What a lovely idea, Mansi! They look elegant too!

Mansi Desai said...

Nags - come on over!:)

Meeta - that'd be an honor girl; I wish we even cooked alike:D

Aparna - that sounds like a great variation!

Ahsa - yeah gal, we have to watch calories in everything:)

Nams, Vani - thanks ppl!

Ovenhaven - glad you liked it!:) presentation surely is a key in simple things like these:)

kamala said...

Great looking basket.kids would surely love it

Siri said...

Lovely bread basket Mansi..Nice n Smart idea~

Siri

sowmya said...

this would have been a great hit among your guests at the party!!!!

Uma said...

wow, the bread baskets are cool. Lovely!

Seema said...

These look so cute & yummy.. a sure hit at any party for sure!

Trupti said...

This is very nice idea & healthy too..thanks for sharing this new idea.

Mansi Desai said...

The pleasure's all mine folks! glad you'll liked it:) and thanks for your feedback!

Lisa said...

What an inspired idea. Mushrooms and olives sound like a fine addition to me. You say here you aren't a great cook? Why do I doubt that is true :) Your recipes are always fantastic.

ANJALI JOSHI said...

looks gr8, good pictures

KayKat said...

I *love* these baskets! Such a great idea. I usually use phyllo or make my own pastry dough for this, but your idea is an easy, tasty alternative :)

Thanks, Mansi!

michelle @ TNS said...

these are so cute - and you could fill them with anything!

Mansi Desai said...

Thanks Lisa - that means a lot to me!

Anjali - welcome to Fun and Food, and hope you enjoy the other recipes and articles inhere:)

Kay - yeah, bread surrely is a better alternative to phyllo:)

musical said...

Very neat party nsack idea! Lovely!

AnuZi said...

What a cool concept. I am all about appetizers too. Hubby and I sometimes laze around and content with munchies.mmmmmmm yummmmm.

Kalai said...

How adorable! So versatile, too. Could fill this with anything you want...! Thanks for sharing, Mansi! :)

Ben said...

What? You are not a great cook? Then what am I? :-p Great presentation. I love the idea of the bread baskets. I wanna try it with tortillas. I think it would work.

Mansi Desai said...

Musi, Anuzi - thanks guys!

Kalai - yes, you could fill with so many things for different variations:) even sweet ones!

Ben - I think you can cut tortillas into small squares or rounds and fenitely use them too:) and oh, thanks for the vote of confidence:)hehee

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Those are just beautiful, Mansi! What a brilliant idea. Looks like I have to throw a party just to make some. ;)

arundati said...

these look so fabulous!! must be a party stopper for sure....

Sagari said...

beautiful baskets mansi

RAKS KITCHEN said...

That looks cool! I wonder how that shape comes so cute! May be I should try and see:)
You cook like a great cook indeed!!

Chuck said...

Very cute! The perfect finger food for your next party.

Jean said...

This is extremely creative, look delicious, and I bet would have tasted great! I'm so glad I found your site...your recipes and pictures are beautiful, and so are your articles on health, entertaining and those amazing gadgets!!:)

sarah said...

I would never have dreamed of going farther than phyllo cups, but now thanks to you I've found a winner recipe!:)

thank you so so much Mansi!!

~sarah

Jules said...

Fantastic idea and so tasty looking!

Jayashree said...

Wow.....looks lovely.

Saswati said...

I had done a cocktail snacks course just after my marriage where they had taught us these....and they turn out amazing.Actually we can go berserk with the toppings...i put bhelpuri mix as topping too.And Yes Mansi i am sending you my entry for your event asap:)

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Great recipe idea, but don't put yourself down. This blog is evidence you are a wonderful cook!

Archy said...

Lovely Veggy bread basket Mansi..!!
Ur a brilliant cook Dear.. no doubt in that !! U always have different unique dishes !!

Laavanya said...

I make something very similar and we love it at home..

Elle said...

Those look wonderful! Thank you for stopping by my blog!

chow vegan said...

The bread baskets look so good! What do you mean you're not a great cook? Everything I've seen so far indicates you're a great cook! :-)

Bharathy said...

TMansi..he party gal!!!These are cute works of art!..err..how can anyone bite into these beauties??

Mansi Desai said...

Thank you so much to all of you for your encouraging words! Seeing your comments makes me feel I am a GOOD COOK, after all:) hehehehe

Ilva said...

Thanks so much for these little beauties, you are right, they are perfect for a HotM party!

Ricki said...

What a fabulous idea for a party food--I also love parties and will keep this one in mind next time! Love the filling here.

PS-Thanks so much for your comment on my blog and for visiting! I have actually already made my WBB dish--just need to find time to write about it! :)

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

A wonderful way to get everyone to enjoy veggies, even stubborn kids. Well done.

SMN said...

Hey manasi wish i cud grab some.. :) i hv given the link back to the WBB event.Thanks

Miri said...

A woman after my own heart! I love entertaining too and one of the major attractions for me is to try some new appetizer! These look fabulous and so easy!

AnuSriram said...

Very Innovative! Looks tempting!

Rosie said...

What a fab idea Mansi and I wish I was on your guest list *giggle*

Rosie x

Ann said...

Those are really beautiful!

Coffee & Vanilla said...

Very simple and impressive dish! I love it... Margot

Passionate baker...& beyond said...

Ooooooooh Mansi, these look great. I had made something similar ages ago with mozarella, tomatoes & basil tossed in an olive oil dressing. Brought back those memories with your post. Fab!!

Chef said...

I was thinking of making small egg baskets and you blogged about this... great!!

Ashwani said...

I wonder what would be the time line be like, if this exotic finger food be served in a party - graduation of 3 kids, like MS, MD & PhD and almost 80 invitees.


I mostly think about the time lines only for all the unique savories I come across on this site. Since my parties - bbq include 50-80 friends & relatives about 3-4 times a year.
So, the suggestion is to include scaling factor as well as some advice for feasibility of the level of the party,i.e., number of invitees.

Mansi said...

Hi Ashwani - a lot of the prep for this can be done ahead of time; the chutneys and filling can be prepared a day in advance and kept refrigerated. Same for flattening the bread slices and storing them in the same bread bag. So on the day you have to serve them, I'd say you could fit in at least 3 muffin trays (36 pieces)at a time in the oven, so for about 80 baskets, you'd need 2 batches, plus filling them all up, which means about 1-2 hours max!

hope this helps! I'll take your suggestion to add timelines in my recipes:)