Strawberry, Cucumber and Mozzarella Phyllo Cups
One of the most unexpected aspects about running this food blog of mine has been developing friendships along the way with other bloggers. I never really thought that I would meet such wonderful people … people who are my people. You know, people who get the way my mind works – the constant thoughts about food and dreaming up new ideas for food and those who don’t get annoyed with my endless chatter about food. Food food food.
My friend Taylor is one of these people. And today, we are celebrating her! With a virtual baby shower of course. She’s about to welcome her first little one and I couldn’t be more excited for her!
Hopefully one day we’ll actually get to meet in person, but for now, we’ll pretend that these strawberry, cucumber and mozzarella phyllo cups are being enjoyed around a real table. Filled with lots of good food and chatter about food (and Taylor’s baby of course!). PS – the recipes from all the other bloggers for the shower are linked at the end of the post!
So, let’s talk about this summery appetizer shall we? These adorable little cups are super duper light. Which is exactly what I want this time of the year.
The filling itself is incredibly simple. We’ll dice up some strawberries, cucumber and fresh mozzarella balls and toss them with a little olive oil, fresh basil, salt and pepper. Slightly sweet, slightly salty, totally fresh. And easy right?
Now, the cups. While I’ve heard you can certainly buy pre-made phyllo cups (I’ve never actually seen these at our local stores!), you know I can’t resist making things myself. Plus, I also think the homemade version is prettier than the stuff you can buy! And you also know I like pretty things.
The process itself is fairly simple to make the cups – you just need a little patience with brushing each layer of the phyllo dough gently with olive oil, before slicing the stacked dough into squares. The squares are then gently molded into a mini muffin tin and baked off to golden perfection!
We’ll scoop in that refreshing filling and then drizzle the top with some balsamic glaze for the perfect tangy finishing touch. Resulting in a totally doable appetizer that is perfect for gatherings of any kind.
And yes, a big ol’ oops to the fact that I used wine as a prop in that photo above for an appetizer for a virtual baby shower. Taylor, just pretend it’s grape juice okay??
- 5 sheets phyllo dough, defrosted according to package directions
- olive oil, for brushing
- ½ cup quartered fresh mozzarella balls (pat them dry before cutting!)
- ½ cup peeled and diced cucumber
- ½ cup diced strawberries
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- pinch of salt
- pinch of pepper
- balsamic glaze, for drizzling
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Spray a mini muffin tin with nonstick or olive oil spray. Set aside.
- Carefully place 1 sheet of the phyllo dough on a work surface, then gently brush lightly with olive oil. Place a second sheet of dough on top of the first (trying to be as exact as possible), then brush again lightly with olive oil. Repeat this process with all five of the sheets (brushing the last with olive oil as well).
- Using a pizza or pastry cutter, slice the stacked dough into equal sized squares. I do this by slicing the rectangle lengthwise into 3 equal sections and then crosswise into four equal sections. (Before I slice the dough into the squares, I like to trim off the edges since I am incapable of stacking them perfectly!)
- Gently mold each square into a cup of the prepared mini muffin tin.
- Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, until light golden brown (keep an eye on them toward the end of the baking time). Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes, before removing the cups from the tin.
- In a medium bowl, add the mozzarella, cucumber, strawberries, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Taste and add a touch more salt if needed.
- Scoop an equal amount of the filling into each of the phyllo cups. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and serve immediately.
If you do want to prep ahead of time, you can keep the cups and filling separate (in airtight containers - keep the cups at room temp and the filling in the fridge) and then just scoop the filling into the shells and drizzle with glaze right before serving.
I will say that these do keep fine for about 1 to 2 hours once filled (at room temperature). They will lose a bit of crunchiness as they sit (especially toward the end of the 2 hours), but unless you’re looking for it, you can’t really tell. Once it went past the 2 hours, I felt like you noticed the loss of crunch much more!
You can easily double (or triple!) this recipe depending on how much you need!
Filling from Cookie Monster Cooking – inspired by my strawberry quinoa balsamic salad! Phyllo cups method from A Couple Cooks.
Want to check out all the other fantastic recipes put together for Taylor’s baby shower? Peruse below!
Mrs. Olson’s Kitchen – Quick Jam
Girl Versus Dough – Cheesy Polenta Bites with Blueberry and Corn Relish
Fit Foodie Finds – DIY Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch Clif Bars
Making Thyme for Health – Lemon Cupcakes with Fresh Blueberry Icing
The Cooking Actress – Caramelized Onion and Cheddar Gougeres
Garnish with Lemon – Mini Pavlovas with Blueberries and Kiwi
A Kitchen Addiction – Blueberry Lemon Donut Muffins
The Lemon Bowl – Blackberry Ginger Smash with Thyme