Every once in a while, I wonder what to make for breakfast or early brunch and often come back to this rich, silky, and amazingly crunchy bread basket. Filled with the freshest vegetables, aromatic spices, and a luscious white Béchamel sauce made from milk and roux, it’s sure to hit all the sweet and savory notes. Like a burst of flavor and celebration on the palette, this Indian-inspired-Italian recipe highlights the perfect complement between the fresh vegetables and humble white sauce.
Italian Bread Baskets
- 1-1/2 cup milk
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- 1-1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
- salt to taste
Vegetables for Filling:
- 1/2 cup finely chopped paneer (indian cottage-cheese)
- 1/2 cup sweet corn
- 1/2 cup red/green/yellow peppers
- 1/4 cup chopped spinach
- 1/2 cup mozzarella-cheddar blend cheese
- 6 bread slices
- 1 teaspoon oil
- fresh basil for garnish
- Heat butter in a large saucepan and allow it to melt.
- Add flour and whisk the mixture so that it becomes frothy with a slight change in color.
- Gradually whisk in milk, making sure to eliminate lumps from the mixture.
- Add in all vegetables, salt, sugar, chili flakes, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
- Turn off the stove to allow the mixture cool and let the flavors infuse for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, flatten each slice of bread with a rolling pin.
- Cut the bread into round pieces using a cookie cutter (1 circle per slice of bread).
- Grease a muffin tray lightly with some oil.
- Press the bread slices into the molds until they take on rounded and cup-like shapes.
- Distribute the vegetable/sauce mixture evenly among the cups and finally grease the rim with olive oil. Top each cup with cheese.
- Bake the cups for 15 minutes at 375oF/190oC in a preheated oven.
- Once the time is up or a crispy, golden color is visible on the cups, remove the tray from the oven.
- Remove the breadbaskets from the muffin tray and let it cool on a cooling rack for an additional 5 minutes.
- Chop up basil leaves for garnish and sprinkle it over the cups.