Parmesan Crisp Tomato and Basil Salad - FamilyEducation

Parmesan Crisp Tomato and Basil Salad

July 11,2011
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

It wasn’t that long ago that low-carbohydrate and no-carb recipes, meals and diets were all the rage.  I had a co-worker who went no-carb for bit, and while he was committed to his meat-cheese-limited vegetables diet, it just seemed off-kilter to me.  One idea did stick with me though from the days of typing next to a eat-no-carbs friend, and I recently resurrected the idea to jazz up a summer salad of tomatoes and basil.

Salad Caprese, the simply delicious salad composed of fresh tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh mozzarella is a staple in our summer diet.  Sprinkled with a light dash of extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, Salad Caprese tastes like summer, pure and simple.

And while I have yet to meet a fresh Salad Caprese I don’t love, this quick and easy take on it has also found a special place in my heart.  Using freshly shredded Parmesan cheese, cooked over a skillet, you can create Parmesan crisps in place of using the fresh mozzarella.

Kids will marvel at how a slight sprinkle of cheese transforms into a light, almost cracker-like component of this special salad.  Admittedly, not every child loves fresh tomatoes (top of the list?  my R and G), so feel free to use this in other dishes too.

Parmesan Crisp Tomato and Basil Salad

3-4 tomatoes, cored and chopped roughly
¼ cup (about a good handful) fresh basil, sliced
1-2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, basil, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Toss gently and allow to sit.

Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat.  Allow to warm up and about 1-2 tablespoons at a time, drop little “heaps” of cheese on the skillet.  Working quickly, use a spatula and remove from the heat after about 10 seconds.

Sprinkle the top of the tomatoes with pieces of the Parmesan crisps.

Serves 4.



The oils in the cheese will prevent the cheese from sticking to your pan, so no cooking spray is necessary.

Life is sweet,
SPC