Simple, summery and a great little appetizer with a salty parmesan bowl of its own, these Heirloom Tomato Caprese Frico Cups make singing the swan song to summer a little easier.
With the long days turning shorter and my summer escapes coming to a quick end, I’ve been weaning my cravings for simple summer recipes and tank top wearing tan lines and replacing them with thoughts of long oven braises and pulling an ear hugging beanie over my chilly head as I search through my closet for those knit gloves I bought last year that have the touchy things on the tips of the fingers so I can still use my iPhone once the weather turns cold. Those things are genius.
Fall flavors are giving summer bounty a bit of a shove off and I’m not sure how sad I am about it.
Maybe that’s because my garden SUCKS this summer. With a capital S.U.C.K.S.
My stringy and nearly leafless heirloom tomato plants—the ones I was so excited to cultivate so I could pluck juicy mater orbs straight from the vine and take a big old bite out of their still warm flesh—are as lifeless and lilting as a 6 foot, 95-pound fashion model prepping for her fall debut on the catwalk.
Straight up sad I tell you.
And what’s worse is no matter how hard I try, my tomato loving cravings for recipes like Heirloom Tomato BLTs, Pasta with Marinated Tomatoes and my fave weeknight freshie of Avocado, Onion and Tomato Salad have not ebbed the tide. And last year’s post of 55 Fresh and Tasty Tomato Recipes? This year, it’s been a question if I would make it to 56.
The thing I love about heirloom tomatoes is how imperfect they are. Let’s just say I can relate. Some are on the pudgy side with a too-tight-in-the-jeans muffin top, some are are cracked and crooked. And for most the color is never quite the same so slicing them to see the rainbow of color inside is always a fun surprise.
While walking through the grocery store veggie department the other day, I spied the heirloom tomatoes. Big, juicy and ready to slice, a far cry from our bereft leaning-towers-of-never-to-bear-fruit at home. We fondled several of the larger heirloom varieties, speculating what color spectrum might be hidden inside.
While I love the largess of the standard heirlooms and can nearly taste the bite of fresh mozzarella with basil and olive oil just by looking at them, the little bitties are the guys that get me every time.
Sweet, juicy and perfect for a little bite of their own. I didn’t have to think twice. These babies were coming home with me.
Olive oil and kosher salt and pepper are standard toppers for heirlooms in most everyone’s book, but this time around I eschewed the balsamic and went with a squeeze of lemon juice, a bit of zest and a simple handful of flat leaf parsley.
To layer a bit more of a mediterranean taste I added some thinly sliced roasted red bell pepper left over in the fridge and added a salty smack to the lot with capers, my favorite salad addition.
But the real treat was when I upped the ante and baked up some little frico cups to serve my little tomato salad in. I used my biscuit cutter as my guide and let the oven do its magic. Be sure to work quickly when you bake these puppies, they crisp up super quick as soon as they’re pulled out of the oven so a fast slight of hand is definitely a must.
Who needs a bowl, a fork or a spoon when you can use a parmesan vessel with a salty crunch instead? Smudge gave it another thumbs up and totally agrees that this makes it way more fun to play with your food. What a surprise.
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Bookmark this recipe and leave a comment below, or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Heirloom Tomato Caprese Frico Cups
For Heirloom Tomato Salad
- 1 pound cherry heirloom tomatoes , quartered
- ⅓ cup roasted red bell pepper , thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons capers
- ¼ cup parsley leaves , roughly chopped
- ½ small lemon , juiced and zested
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- goat cheese crumbles for garnish
For Frico Cups
- 2 cups Parmesan cheese , grated
- 1 small lemon , zested
For Heirloom Tomato Salad
- Toss tomatoes, roasted red bell pepper slices, capers and parsley leaves in a large bowl with the olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Fill the parmesan frico cups with about ¼ cup of the tomato mixture and garnish with more salt and pepper if desired and goat cheese crumbles. Serve at room temperature.
For the Frico Cups
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Mix the parmesan cheese and the lemon zest in a small bowl.
- Place a Silpat mat on a rimmed baking sheet. Using at 2 ½ inch biscuit cutter, drop 1 slightly rounded tablespoon of the cheese mixture on the Silpat, tapping cheese lightly to form a circle. Place 6 total circles on the baking sheet with 2 inches between each row.
- Bake the rounds for 8 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Working quickly and while frico is still hot, transfer the rounds with spatula or knife to a muffin tin and gently press into the tins. If the rounds become too cool and brittle, place back in the hot oven for a minute so the frico becomes pliable again, remove and quickly move to the tins.
- Let the frico cool in the tins for 3-5 minutes and remove. Repeat process with the rest of the parmesan.
- *If you have extra frico cups, break into chunks and add to your favorite dinner salad or pasta.
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I bet it would be faster to turn the muffin pan upside down & press the cheese rounds over it. I’m trying this.
This is a lovely, newish idea – would make an impressive addition to a company brunch! Boss coming to dinner? add this to your menu and IMPRESS!
I always look for Heirlooms – and have some started out in my small garden. When I have too many for us to eat, i share with neighbors, cook down into sauces and freeze – or one year I had SO many, I brought boxes of them to the local soup kitchen along with abundance of zucchini! they were thrilled to have them.
How to eat? simple Caprese salad, of course – just marinated with a special Basil Olive Oil from Temecula Olive Oils (THE BEST I’ve ever had!) a bit of Himalayan Pink Salt – which to us has that tiny difference of flavor that brings out the sweetness of that nice Heirloom!
When I buy heirlooms, I always save some of the seeds….have been able to grow my own from those seeds – Momma’s “Secret” to getting inexpensive heirloom plants – which usually cost more. and they are BETTER and stronger plants!
Frico cups is a brilliant idea.
Do you think the frico cups can be made a day ahead and stored and will have the same texture/crunch next day?
Our garden did great this summer… Our favorite way to eat our tomatoes is sliced in half, drizzled with really good olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.
Who will help me buy the heirloom tomato plants?
I will I said
Who will help me plant the heirloom plants?
I will I said
Who will help me water the heirloom plants?
I will I said so I hooked up a soaker hose with a 24 hour timer with 4 watering cycles
Who will help me eat the heirlooms?
I will I said
BUT MY WIFE SAID THOSE WERE HERS and I could eat the other tomatoes
So I watch her eat them with fresh sliced mozzarella that I bought, some fresh basil and some Italian salad dressing!!!
I love them sliced thinly, with basil, balsamic vinegar (Ariston!), Pumpkin seed oil drizzle, basil, thyme, salt and sheep feta.
I love heirloom tomatoes sliced with Kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, EVOO and fresh basil. I am eager to try the Parmesan cups!
Drizzle of olive oil and some sea salt.
I love them sliced with salt and pepper!
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My favorite way to eat a ripe heirloom tomato is on a Margarita Pizza. Use Whole Foods multi-grain pizza dough. Stretch into pizza shape and brush olive oil all over the top. Sprinkle with finely chopped garlic and very thinly sliced red onions. Bake until dough is lightly browned. Top cooked dough with sliced Heirloom, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella and dot with Kalamata olives. If you’re a meat eater, add some pieces of bacon. Top everything with a little more olive oil, fresh parmesan and salt and pepper. It is divine!
Salt and pepper! A little basil if I have some.
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Lovely presentation of a gorgeous combination!
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Just made a beautiful goats cheese & tomato tart with fig spread and dijon mustard… absolutely divine!
Cookie and Kate
Time out: frico cups?! I have never heard of these crispy cheesy bowls of goodness until right now! I’ll be trying these out ASAP.
I love eating tomatoes with a little olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, feta and avocado!
YUM! I needed something simple that would wow, and these certainly fit the bill! Thanks for the recipe and the presentation. Now my mind is full of ideas for fall, too.
Tabouli with lots of tomatoes, parsley and feta cheese is the best way to enjoy fresh heirloom tomatoes. Or just sliced with salt and pepper is simple and delicious.
I love my mom’s childhood sandwich: open faced, soft and crusty fresh bread, butter, and sliced heirloom tomato generously seasoned with salt and pepper.
I just like them plain on toasted sourdough bread with lots of pepper and a little salt.
I loved your frito cups! My favorite way to eat heirloom tomatoes is by making bruschetta with them with loads of olive oil!
love me some heirloom tomatoes! I love making a bruschetta out of them, and then dabbing a bit of goat cheese on toasted french bread!
I love to make salsa with them :)
Your photos are mouth watering beautiful, can hardy wait to try this idea. I love, love all tomatoes,
One of my favorites is sliced on cottage cheese, with avocado and salt and pepper.
With sliced mozzarella, salt and olive oil or with balsamic vinegar drizzled over the top with chopped basil
I like using them as a snack with guacamole and cottage cheese! It’s a nice filling flavorful snack
Very nice salad with many variations and great look! I can not wait to serve them with my main dish in my next party:D
I love tomatoes and would enjoy just a plain toasted tomato sandwich just as much as anything.
I love to make mango salsa!
Fresh from the vine! Love summer tomatoes, can’t get enough!
I love to have great tomatoes with a sprinkle of salt, mozzarella and basil. Simple + perfect!
I love to use them in my bruschetta! Yummy! Your recipe looks delicious!
I love to just eat them sliced with just a little salt and pepper! Thanks for the giveaway!
Serena @Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
I love heirloom tomatoes with a pinch of sea salt and pepper plain or tossed with pasta. Yum!
Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)
Love to eat them with a bit of goat cheese or ricotta on toast! :)
I love heirloom tomatoes lightly sauteed with garlic and shallots and mixed into pasta.
I love them slightly roasted with some oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice! Pair with some crunchy French bread and butter. Yum!
I’ve never had heirloom tomatoes, but they look really good so I think I would enjoy them in a salad.
I love them on a good burger or in a salad where I can really taste their freshness.
Art & Lemons
A quick pureed creamy raw tomato sauce with loads of basil and a mix of pine nuts, cashews, garlic, olive oil, and sea salt. Simple, bright, and summery over pasta or with roasted summer vegetables.
I’m a sucker for tomato soup!
Sliced with a crumbled goat cheese and an aged balsamic vinegar..YUM!
Love tomatoes also sautéed lightly with Spanish onions and green peppers. Yum
I just had a big slice of one on top of some smashed avocado toast. So good!
i love heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil with fresh mozzarella on buttered bread w a dash of salt and pepper. A staple in August! i am so happy i found your blog! i am looking forward to trying the frico cups.
My favorite way is in a salad!
The heirlooms are great with a little salt but the larger ones sliced on a tomato sandwich or BLT brings back memories of summers with Grandma which gives the word Heirloom another meaning all its own !!! Your recipe looks great will have to give it a try. Thanks! And thanks for the drawing!
Can’t believe I’m about to admit this but I’ve never ever tried a heirloom tomato! That being said, this recipe would be the perfect start to trying them.
Sliced and on a grilled cheese sandwich. Comfort food!
A healthy shake of salt & pepper. Yum!
Am I boring if I say I love them in your standard caprese salad?
Gerry @ Foodness Gracious
I lobe them sliced and tossed with some olive oil and sea salt. Then chuck em’ over some creamy burrata or mozzarella!
They look so good! I would make a salad with them. Great giveaway, thanks!!