Some ingredients just feel noteworthy—truffles, caviar, small-batch anything—when you bust them out, it's automatically a special occasion. Parmesan can be that way too, specifically when it's shredded, baked, and turned into a toasty cheese crisp, à la frico.
And, c'mon, frico just sounds fancy. So when Ethnea H. Ferguson read that Joshua McFadden, author of our Cookbook Club's bonus book, Six Seasons, recommends pairing frico with champagne, she knew it was the perfect combo for her (semi)retirement celebration.
We're in favor of celebrating everything (and doing so with cheese!), but you don't need to reserve frico just for fancy occasions.
Smaller rounds of frico are perfect for nibbling on as is, but they also function as cheesy crackers or crumbled into crispy croutons for sprinkling on salads. Make the Parmesan cheese piles larger, say 6-inches across, and drape them over inverted bowls after they come out of the oven. Once cooled, you'll have edible cheesy bowls, perfect for filling with salad or pasta.