A Cook's Plot

Side Dishes & Canapes

Cheese and Olive Squares

These make a lovely vegetarian nibble to serve with drinks on a summer evening, and they went down really well at the cookery demo I did at a food festival last weekend too. Or, if you cut them into bigger portions, they make a fab lunch with a salad. They’re super-easy to make and as they taste best at room temperature rather than straight from the oven, they can be made well ahead too. The last ingredient to add is pesto - ready-made is fine, but my next blog post is for a fabulous spinach and hazelnut homemade pesto, so watch this space if you’d like to try that!


  • Good handful of crusty bread, chopped into chunks (enough to cover the base of your baking dish) - slightly stale bread is best
  • 4 eggs
  • 150ml milk
  • 150g cheese, grated
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 red or orange pepper, chopped
  • Half a red chilli, chopped
  • 6 black olives, quartered
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • Handful fresh winter savory or thyme, chopped
  • 1 generous tbsp pesto


Grease a medium-sized baking dish with a little oil, then spread the bread evenly over the base. Beat the eggs in a jug, add the milk, cheese, onions, garlic, peppers, chilli, olives, dijon, herbs and pesto to the jug then pour the mixture over the bread. Bake in a preheated oven (170C fan) for 40 minutes. Serve at room temperature (the flavour is much nicer if you don't serve it piping hot).

Makes 18

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