This week I treated myself to Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry Cookbook. I’ve been coveting it since I first saw it when we went to Napa as part of our honeymoon (Napa IS my spiritual home!), during a wine tour we went past The French Laundry gardens, where they grow all their own produce for the restaurant, including baby lambs. It was a sight to behold! The French Laundry is regarded as one of the world’s finest restaurants, I am planning my visit! One of the first pages I turned to was a recipe for parmesan crisps…
Now, I don’t pretend for one second I can recreate any of these dishes like they do in the restaurant, in fact, the book is so beautiful I think it will remain on my coffee table rather than on my kitchen work top! What it is great for, is inspiration and the parmesan crisps are super simple and easy to make.
In this recipe I have layered some strong flavours on top of the parmesan crisps, and honestly, these treats are gorgeous! They taste like spring! Serve at a dinner party with some bubbles, or do what I did, bake them up on a dreary grey day for a light tasting treat. The parmesan crisps aren’t brittle, meaning you can scoop them straight into your face with no mess!
If you are looking for more canape ideas, check out my Meatball Cupcakes!
A beautiful and elegant canape full of flavour
- 60 g grated parmesan don't use the pre-grated stuff as it's too dry
- 4 stems of fine asparagus
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 125 g goats cheese
- a good sprinkle of cracked black pepper
- 1 spring onion
Pre-heat the oven to 180º.
Line a baking tray with baking paper, and put in two teaspoons of the freshly grated parmesan into a 3" chef's ring (you can do this by hand if you don't have any small rings). Spread the parmesan evenly over the surface. Repeat until you have 8 circles of parmesan, leave a good gap between each circle. Put them in the oven for 8 minutes.
Keep your eye on the parmesan circles, don't let them colour like this….
…they will taste burnt! I had to do a whole new batch! They need to retain the original colour of the parmesan - they may look uncooked, but don't let them fool you!
When they are ready, use a spatula to gently lift them off of the sheet and place them on a rolling pin to curl them. At this stage they are still soft, work quickly.
While they cool, put the asparagus in to a med-hot pan (no oil). I like to use a griddle so that you get the sear lines. Cook for about 5 mins until soft.
In a small bowl, mix together the tomato puree and lemon juice until combined.
In another bowl mix together the goats cheese with a good sprinkling of cracked black pepper.
Now time to put in all together!
First place a small dollop (you really don't need much!) of the tomato sauce on to the middle of each crisp and spread with the back of a teaspoon. Next cut the asparagus in half lengthways, and then in half again. Lay two strips onto the top of the tomato sauce. Using two table spoons, take a small scoop of goats cheese and style into a quenelle (mine are far from perfect!) and place on top of the asparagus. Finish with a few thin slices of spring onion - I used the greener parts of the onion so they are not an overpowering taste.
The canapes will keep in the fridge for around 5 hours