Tuesday, June 22, 2010

CSA Salad in Frico

Our wine club met last Thursday and the theme was "California vs Argentina".  I brought a Byron Chardonnay (CA) and decided to bring a California-inspired appetizer to go with it.  When I think California, I think salads, fresh ingredients, Alice Waters, and avocados.

Here is my creation: Individual salads in Frico (aka Parmesan cheese cups).  I used as many ingredients from my CSA as I could, to give it that Cali "fresh, healthy" feel.

Step 1: Make Frico
You can find many articles online for how to do this, and it is pretty easy, albeit slightly time-consuming.  Many are picky about using only fresh-grated high-quality Parmesan.  I don't have time to hand-grate all that cheese so I just bought it pre-shredded at the grocery store (BelGioioso) and it worked fine.

Mound 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.  Flatten to a thin-ish round like so:
Stick it into a 350F oven for 5-6 minutes, watching it carefully.  When it is melted, gooey, and slightly golden brown on the edges, take it out and let it cool for about a minute.  Then, working quickly, carefully peel it off of the baking sheet and drape it over an upside-down muffin tin, like so:
Now, I'm not going to lie to you... this might burn your fingers just a little depending on how sensitive your digits are. Mine have been through wayyyy worse and don't notice the burns anymore.  Be careful is all I'm saying.

Let the Frico harden on the muffin tins while you assemble the salad. 
Step 2: Make Salad 

Salad Ingredients:
Arugula (CSA)
Roasted Beets (CSA - Chiogga)
Walnuts, toasted
Dried cherries
Avocado, diced
Goat cheese (Vermont)

Dressing (mix all ingredients in a blender):
Sherry vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
a few drops of truffle oil
Extra virgin olive oil

I marinated my roasted beet slices in the salad dressing for about 15min and then sauteed them over med-high heat to caramelize.  I love roasted beets, but I wanted them to have a little more flavor for this salad:

To assemble, mix the salad ingredients in a bowl, toss with dressing, and fill Frico cups (see picture at the top).  Serve to your Wine Club and receive many compliments :)  Thanks girls!!

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