After seeing amazing cheese bowls in our microwave-themed roundup, we had to try it for ourselves! We think it’s a great way to jazz up a salad, and get that crouton-like flavor and texture without all the oil from a real crouton. And of course, it’s also amazingly simple. To pair with the cheese bowl, we whipped up a fresh spring salad with arugula, lots of bright lemon, and of course, bacon ;).

Ingredients (makes 2 large salads):

– 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus a little more for garnishing

– 1 bag arugula (6 oz)

– 2 stalks scallions

– 4 strips bacon

– 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

– 2 tbsp butter

– ½ tsp salt

– pepper to taste

– tools: high quality parchment paper (we used Reynolds brand as recommended), 2 bowls that stack well

First, we’ll start off by making the cheese bowl.

On a large microwave plate or dish, cover with parchment paper. On top of the parchment paper, pour out ½ cup of the cheese. Flatten it to create a circular, thin layer that’s about an inch wider than the circumference of your bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes. Carefully remove the plate from the microwave and put one of the bowls upside down, on top of the cheese. Hold the plate and bowl together and flip so the bowl is right side up. Remove the plate and quickly put the second bowl on top of the parchment paper. Let cool for a few minutes, remove the top bowl, and there’s your cheese bowl! Put it in the fridge for a few minutes if you need the bowl to cool quickly.

Moving on to the salad.

Microwave the butter and lemon juice for about 30 seconds, or until the butter is completely melted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Next, cut up your bacon into small pieces and microwave according to the instructions on the package. Chop up your scallions into small pieces.

In a large bowl, toss together the arugula, bacon and scallions. Lastly, pour dressing into the salad and mix. Add your salad to your cheese bowls, and voila! A delicious meal that’s easily prepared in under 20 minutes.

What’s your favorite recipe for an easy and delicious salad? Let us know in the comments.