One of the most elegant (and easy!) appetizers you'll ever have the pleasure of meeting. These delicious Italian-inspired crisps pair wonderfully with cocktails, and are fabulous on salads or as soup toppers.
This is one of those easy (almost ridiculously easy recipes), that has lots of delicious WOW. It's an Ina Garden recipe that I've adapted ever so slightly. They're called "frico" in Italy and Ina describes them as,"One of the most elegant Italian delicacies you can serve with cocktails."
I agree with her wholeheartedly. They're incredibly delicious, and yet light enough to not spoil the main course. I have a little "thing" about people filling up on the appetizers and not having much room for a lovingly-prepared meal.
The ingredient list is pretty much complete in the title of the post. There's a tablespoon of flour that's added, just to help everything hold together. Other than that, it's Parmesan cheese (good quality), fresh thyme and sea salt. You might think Parmesan is salty enough on it's own, but don't omit the pinch of sea salt. I tried that and it just wasn't the same.
And the technique is so simple you won't believe it. Just combine the Parmesan, flour and thyme and scoop out tablespoonfuls onto a cookie sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, then let them cool. That's it!
Ina says to grate the Parmesan quite coarsely (like you would carrots). I tried that too, and like the crisps better grated with a medium coarse grater. I think they look prettier that way too. Ina also calls for kosher salt combined with the cheese mixture - which is fine, but a sprinkle of good sea salt right over the top takes them literally "right over the top"!
So pick up a small piece of good Parmesan. I recommend Parmesan Reggiano. It's not cheap, but definitely worth it. I picked up a 4-ounce piece at Whole Foods for $5. That's probably as expensive as you'll find it. You can purchase Parmesan Reggiano at Costco or Sam's club for much less, but you'll have to buy a much larger quantity. That's not such a bad thing though. It lasts a long time in the fridge and adds such a delicious touch to salads, soups, pasta...
Happy New Year! Can't wait to share lots of deliciousness in 2017! Cheers!
P.S. One last thing. These wonderful little bites are also great in or alongside salads and as soup toppers.
- 4- ounce piece of Parmesan Reggiano cheese without the rind
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves - reserve some for garnish
- ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt I love Maldon
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
Grate the Parmesan using a medium size grater.
Combine the Parmesan, flour and thyme in a bowl and mix well. With a measuring spoon, spoon level tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared sheet pans, spreading each round into a 2-½ inch disk. Toss the mixture each time and scoop from the bottom of the bowl to be sure you get some flour in each spoonful. Sprinkle each little disk with a pinch of the flaky sea salt and a grind of black pepper.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until medium golden brown.
Cool on the pans for 5 minutes, loosen with a metal spatula, then cool completely on a baking rack. Serve at room temperature.
I like to garnish with a few more fresh thyme leaves before serving.
* I use a grater like this.
** Maldon sea salt is fantastic. It's a little expensive (as salt goes) but it's used as a finishing salt. Not a salt for every day use. It's delicious as a finishing touch to salads, sandwiches, main dishes etc. Take a pinch of it with your fingers and rub your fingers together as you sprinkle it over the food to bring out the wonderful flavor.