For Emily's St-Germain party, I wanted to make a light appetizer that would be welcome on a warm summer evening. Summer always makes me think tomatoes, so when I saw a recipe for Parmesan tuiles with heirloom tomato salad in Food & Wine, I thought that would be a good starting point.
After I made the tuiles, I decided they didn't seem very tuile-like and were better named crisps. Because the crisps had a heavy Parmesan flavor, I wanted to keep the tomatoes on the simple side and just seasoned them with a little fleur de sel, pepper, and balsamic vinegar.
Parmesan Crisps With Heirloom Tomatoes (adapted from Food & Wine)
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons flour
2 large heirloom tomatoes
Fleur de sel
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and line a large baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat mat.
In a medium bowl, combine the Parmesan with the butter, flour, and a generous pinch of pepper. Mash the ingredients together with a fork until a dough forms.
Form the dough into a 6-inch log, and cut the log into 18 equal slices. (I scored the log at the halfway point and then kept scoring each half until I had 18 pieces marked, and then I cut the slices.)
Arrange the slices on the baking sheet, and flatten them with your fingers. I made one batch and was a little timid about flattening them, but then I really went to town on the second batch, and those crisps came out much better.
Bake 6 to 7 minutes, turning pan halfway through baking, until crisps are golden brown and sizzling.
Let the crisps cool on the pan, and then transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate.
Set a strainer inside a bowl. Core, seed, and finely dice the tomatoes. Transfer the diced tomatoes to the strainer, and let the excess liquid drain off.
Season tomatoes with fleur de sel and black pepper, and then stir in the balsamic vinegar. Allow tomatoes to drain until ready to serve, and then transfer them to a serving bowl.
Serve the crisps alongside the tomatoes, and let everyone spoon tomatoes on the crisps as they eat them. (If you set up the crisps with tomatoes on top ahead of time, they could get soggy.)
My Parmesan crisps and tomatoes joined all the great party appetizers the other ladies brought, which ranged from a truffled ricotta cheese dip to crostini with blueberries and goat cheese to crepes with ricotta and tomato filling to fancy cheeses and sausage.
What's your favorite summer appetizer to bring to a party?