Mini bread tart cases

Get this: UK households throw away 24 million slices of bread….EVERY DAY! So, here’s a tasty little idea for making the perfect edible vessel for transporting those salsastic leftovers from the other day from bowl to bouche.  Those cases will freeze perfectly too. So, every time you’ve got some tasty left overs – from cottage pie to spag bol, jus chop it up small, get it in the tart cases and freeze. Eventually you’ll have ready-made canapé’s in the freezer to provide for a full house party. To serve, just de-frost, top with grated cheese and bang in the oven for a few minutes.

Makes 12 mini cases

6 slices of bread
Oil for drizzling
Scattering of dried herbs (obviously optional)
Seasoning

Pre heat the oven to 180˚C. Cut off the crusts and set aside for the bread crumb recipe (coming shortly). Roll out each slice with a rolling pin until as flat and thin as apancake. For a 5cm diameter muffin tin, use a 6cm diameter cutting ring. You will get two discs per bread slice.

Brush the muffin tin recesses lightly with oil and press a bread disc into each recess. Brush lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle some dried oregano or Italian mixed herbs too if you fancy.

Bake in the oven for about 7 minutes, or until they lightly brown around the edges. Remove and cool. These can now be stored in an airtight container for weeks in a cool, dry place.

Chilli & cheese breadcrumbs

Use the bread trimmings from the mini bread tart cases  – or use fresh or stale left-over bread. They make a great base for a savoury cheesecake, a sprinkle over cooked green veg is pretty transforming   Simply spread the trimmings on a baking tray, drizzle with oil, grate liberally over with cheese, sprinkle over chilli flakes, dried herbs, or any herbs and spices of your choice. Bake for several minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool, and then blitz to crumbs in a food processor. Store the breadcrumbs in an airtight container in a cool dry place.

Crostini

The crostini is the magical metamorphosis of slightly past it baguette to crisp and tasty dipping utensil or canapé base.  Just slice the baguette into ½ cm slices; arrange in a single layer on a baking tray; drizzle over some olive oil and sprinkle liberally with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place in a 180˚C pre-heated oven until lightly golden around the edges (about 8 minutes),  and allow to cool. They can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place (not the fridge) for days. Of course, you can use fresh baguette too.