Thursday, December 20, 2012

Parmesan and Asiago Frico Squares with Fennel and Orange Salad

Party food is just so fun - dips, miniature, bite size morsels served on toothpicks, communal foods in general.  Party food makes me happy.  But the parties themselves stress me out.  Or, more precisely, the people at the parties stress me out.  Sometimes my evening is spent feigning interest in riveting topics like the virtues of cloth diapering.  Other times it might be spent wondering how to respond when someone snidely remarks "What? you haven't read anything from David Foster Wallace?" No, I'm sorry, I have not.  He is on my ever-expanding to read list, incidentally.  But I feel that there is no reason to be so mean about this current lacunae.  Ugh, and my hyper analytical brain starts trying to read something more into everything said to me or trying to appear as some very fuzzy, very blurry simulacrum of an "Interesting Person" (not that I really am).  And after a few hours of this, my brain and nerves are all exhausted and then bed sounds like the most amazing place ever created in the entire world.  I guess it's no secret that I'm an introvert :-P  But the food, that never fails to pick me up, helping me get through these strained hours and making it all worth it.  Here are some Parmesan and Asiago frico squares topped with fennel salad and a bit of orange.  Some party food to calm those party nerves.  And a glass of wine never hurt.

For the frico squares:
1 cup Parmesan
1 cup Asiago
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the fennel salad:
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced with a mandoline
1/4 cup thinly chopped Romaine lettuce
1/4 cup arugula
1/4 cup chopped parsley
3 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
1 orange, supremed

Heat oven to 350.  Place the cheeses, flour, and black pepper in a medium bowl and mix all together.  Place mixture on a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.  Pat the mixture onto the sheet as thin as possible.  It won't cover the entire sheet, probably about 2/3 of it.  Then bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture smells cheesy, is bubbly, and has become golden.  Take out of the oven, and once the frico has cooled, cut into squares.

Place fennel, Romaine, arugula, and parsley in a bowl.  Drizzle grapefruit juice over the mixture.  Place a bit of salad on each frico square and top with a chunk of orange.


  1. I love fennel and parm together...I bet together, all of these flavors are phenomenal!

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  3. No wonder you and I get along...I'm not into huge parties either. I'd rather spend my time with a small group of close friends. (It's those super-pretentious people who rattle my nerves. You know, the ones who sound like they're reading from a script.) *grrr*

    Sorry for the venting! I just came from such a party and my cheeks hurt from smiling too much. :P

    These little Asiago frico squares look delicious! I'd love to take a tray and go hide in my room.

    1. i totally feel your pain, i hate the forced smiling :) i definitely like small groups as opposed to big parties!

  4. I love this! I would eat way too many of them. :)

  5. Yummmmmm! These look incredible :) Yum fresh flavours with cheese. Sounds perfect :)

  6. I find parties difficult sometimes - I'm an introvert too.

    I've only read DFW's essays and they're terrific. Try his book "Consider the Lobster". I always thought he'd be much too highbrow for me, but most of those essays are really great.

  7. Those Frico squares are awesome! (and may make their way onto my Christmas menu!) :D

  8. Wow, what a gorgeous party-type-appetizer food! I'm actually thinking about having a holiday potluck next week and I think these need to make an appearance!

  9. The Frico squares sound delicious. Great looking dish.

  10. Love the pairing of fennel with orange!

  11. I'm with you....I like parties for about twenty minutes and then I just want to go home and curl up in bed! But party food is truly such fun. These squares look delicious!

  12. I love party food! Little bite are fun and your look so delicious! Happy holidays, guys!

  13. So true that party food is always fun. Frico makes a great vehicle, and I love the mix of flavors here!

  14. Wow, that looks gorgeous. I would definitely take this

  15. A very beautiful and delightful salad.
    Happy Holidays!

  16. what beautiful appetizers! so classy and pretty colors too.


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