Tomato baskets are crispy shells filled with succulent tomatoes and sweet onions. Add a dash of spice and cheese and these are the perfect appetizers.
I fillede them with tomatoes but corn, spinach, mixed peppers and peas would work too. The shells are made of all purpose flour with a little salt added. It is similar to a kachori dough. The portion below makes approx 8 baskets.
1 cup All purpose flour (maida)
1/4 cup oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Water for kneading
4 medium tomatoes
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3/4 teaspoon Mix Italian herbs - Basil, Oregano and Parsley
1/2 tablespoon oil
Mix the flour and oil and mix till it forms a crumb-like texture. When you press the flour between fingers it should clump. Slowly add water to bind into a tight dough. Cover with wet cloth and keep for 10-15 minutes.
In this time, start preparing the filling. Cut the tomatoes in half, deseed and dice. Heat oil in a non-stick pan and add the onions. Saute for 2 minutes and add the green peppers. Cook till both are softened. Add the tomatoes and spices and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. When cooled add half the cheese and keep aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Portion the dough in 8 equal pieces and roll out into 4 inch rounds. Place these over muffin moulds and press well. I did this as I wanted to make them a little larger, you can also place these inside mini muffin pan for bite-size portions. Blind bake them for about 10 minutes till they start to brown. Remove and cool. The stuff each of the moulds with the tomato stuffing and sprinkle a little cheese over it. Bake again for about 5 minutes to till the cheese starts to melt.
Enjoy hot or warm with a glass of wine or a cup of tea!