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Mediterranean Carrot Salad with Creme Fraiche and Parmigiano Frico

Recipe: Mediterranean Carrot Salad with Creme Fraiche and Parmigiano Frico

Mediterranean Carrot Salad with Creme Fraiche and Parmigiano Frico

A bright and briny vegetarian salad with homemade cheese crisps
Sounding and looking much more impressive than they are, a “Frico” is little more than a hard Italian cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padana, etc.) grated into small circular clumps and baked until they become crisp and golden cheese crackers. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes, and yields lacey, cheesy rounds that are sure to have friends and family asking for your recipe. We like them besides tomato soup, on their own (like Pringles, can’t eat just one), or crumbled on top of a salad, like we’ve done with this carrot salad. The acidic and sweet carrot mixture features two different types of olives and sits atop a cooling pool of Creme Fraiche. The crunchy frico on top provides both visual and flavor fireworks.

Mediterranean Carrot Salad with Creme Fraiche and Parmigiano Frico
A bright and briny vegetarian salad with homemade cheese crisps
  • Prep Time : 10 min.
  • Cook Time : 20 min.
  • Total Time : 30 min.
  • Serves 2-4

Ingredients

  • FOR FRICO
  • 1 cup finely grated or shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano (or any other hard grating cheese)
  • silicone baking sheet or parchment paper

    Directions For Frico

    1. Preheat oven to 400.
    2. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese onto mat or parchment paper on a baking sheet, spreading each mound about 3" wide and spacing at least 1" apart.
    3. Bake cheese until light brown and melted, 5-6 minutes (check occasionally while baking so it won't turn too brown). Remove sheet from oven and let frico cool completely. They should feel solid and brittle.
    4. Carefully peel fricos off of sheet and set aside.

    Directions For Salad

    1. Split larger carrots lengthwise and leave slender carrots whole. Cut them on a sharp angle so you have long, angled, 1/4 inch-thick pieces of carrot.
    2. Put the carrots in a medium saucepan or skillet, add a glug of olive oil and 1/2 cup water, and season with the chile flakes, 1 teaspoon salt, and many twists of black pepper.
    3. Cook at a lively simmer, uncovered, until the carrots are just crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes—they should still have definite crunch.
    4. Cool the carrots slightly, drain off any liquid, and pile into a bowl, then add the olives and dates.
    5. Pour in the vinegar and toss. Taste and adjust with salt, black pepper, chile flakes, or vinegar until the flavor is super vibrant. Add parsley and toss again.
    6. Divide the crème fraîche among 4 plates or a platter and spread it around in a nice schmear.
    7. Pile the carrot salad on top, leaving some cream visible. If you’re serving with the fricos, lay them on top, either whole or broken into shards.

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