Parmesan Fricco Salad Baskets
Total Time: 20
Yield: 4 servings as a hearty meal; 6-8 servings as a side dish
Eating the bowl your salad comes in adds a Willy Wonka level of fun to this easy, elegant presentation. Don't splurge on high-quality Parmigiano-Reggiano; bagged, shredded Parmesan works best. The first one may be a little tricky, but once you get the hang of it, this unique dish will become part of your repertoire.
Ingredients:8 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese, divided, plus extra for garnish
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces mesclun or baby greens
Kosher or sea salt and
freshly ground black pepper
Warm a 10- or 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle about a quarter of the cheese into a thin round (make the outer edge uneven, for a delicate look) and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until cheese begins to brown lightly underneath. Remove with a spatula and immediately drape over a water glass, carefully shaping cheese into a cup. Let cool. Repeat with remaining cheese, a quarter at a time. In a medium bowl, whisk together vinegar and oil. Add greens and toss well to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place cheese baskets on individual serving plates and fill with greens. Sprinkle with reserved cheese.