Herb Parmesan Crisps and Shallot Vinaigrette Salad

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This is a super simple salad with homemade Honey Shallot Vinaigrette and buzz-worthy Herb Parmesan Crisps that take the place of the crouton crunch.  The Vinaigrette is sweet from the honey, tangy from the dijon and vinegar, creamy from the emulsion of the dijon and oil, and has a slight bite from the mild shallots.  But the real heroes of the dish, the ingredient that will have people talking about this Salad, are the Herb Parmesan Crisps, which are salty and nutty and crispy and delicious and addictive…oh, and so easy to make you will not believe it!

 

BAKED PARMESAN CRISPS TAKE SALAD FROM BORING TO AMAZING!

Ever get invited to a dinner and when you ask what to bring, you are told SALAD?  You say of course you can bring a salad, but secretly you are thinking you will never be the star dish at this dinner with a stinkin’ salad!  Let me tell ya, OH YES YOU CAN BE A STAR WITH A SALAD 🙂  In fact, you should host your own Potluck dinner and make this salad because it’s THAT great! 

Parmesan Crisps are great to use as croutons, like in this recipe, but also great for low-carb diets.  You may have seen keto parmesan crisps as a thing.  It’s because you can get the crunch of a carb-loaded cracker without the carbs.

HERB PARMESAN CRISPS

The Herb Parmesan Crisps are only 2 ingredients: grated parmesan cheese (shredded is fine too!) and dried Oregano.  It starts by making small piles of the parmesan cheese about 2 inches on a lined baking sheet.  You can line it with aluminum foil, but parchment paper is the best option for the easiest removal. 

Spread each pile into a thin circle then sprinkle dried oregano over each.

Bake in a 400 degree F for 5-6 minutes until the parmesan cheese melts down and starts to get golden brown.  Then remove from the oven and let cool and crisp up.

 

MAKE YOUR HONEY SHALLOT VINAIGRETTE

The Honey Shallot Vinaigrette starts out with none other than the shallots that are finely diced.  Then add the dijon mustard, honey, vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and fresh ground pepper.  Whisk together with a fork until it emulsifies and comes together beautifully into a thick dressing.

I love a simple Spring salad mix and beautiful red, purple, and yellow grape tomatoes.  If you are bringing the salad to a potluck, you will want to rinse and completely dry the lettuce leaves.  You can roll them lightly in paper towels to absorb any excess water.  Then keep the vinaigrette in a separate storage container until ready to serve, when you can toss it together with the Spring mix and tomatoes.  Lay the Herbed Parmesan Crisps on top of the salad and enjoy!

RECIPE FAQS

Can I use shredded Parmesan cheese instead of grates?

Yes, you can use finely shredded or grated parmesan cheese in this recipe.  You just don’t want to use slices, as it will not melt as well or create those beautiful lacy holes throughout.

How long will the parmesan crisps last?

In my house, not long!  haha…  Seriously, you can store these in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.  If they lose their crispiness, you can put them back in the oven for 5 minutes at 300 F degrees.  Then let them cool again.  These parmesan crisps are a great option to work into your meal prep and meal plans as they can add big salty flavor and texture with only a little bit.

What else can I serve these Parmesan Crisps with?

Well, I love to snack on them!  But here are a few yummy ideas of using them to jazz up other recipes.  How about adding them to a quinoa salad, such as this Quinoa and Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpeas and Creamy Lemon Dressing?  Or how about adding them to a soup, such as this Golden Carrot Ginger Soup Recipe with Smoked Ham.  You can also break them up and add them to protein dishes for texture, such as this Quick Cooking Creamy Chicken Paprika.

 

Herb Parmesan Crisps and Shallot Dressing Salad

PARMESAN CRISPS take an ordinary salad to extraordinary!  These are a cheesy, crispy alternative to croutons.  The simple salad with fresh greens and colorful tomatoes, the easy homemade vinaigrette, and crispy Parmesan crisps is the perfect Potluck Salad!

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword parmesan crisps, salad, salad dressing
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 16 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 138 kcal
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

Salad

  • 12 Grape Tomatoes
  • 10 ounces Spring Mix or Mesclun Salad

Shallot Vinaigrette

  • 1 Shallot, large
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste

Parmesan Crisps

  • 4-6 ounces Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano

Instructions

Prep-Ahead Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Rinse and dry salad mix.  See notes if you are doing this in advance.

  3. Rinse and dry the grape tomatoes, then slice them in half and store in a sealable baggie.

Shallot Vinaigrette

  1. Finely dice 1 Tbls shallot

  2. In a small bowl, add the Dijon, Oil, Vinegar, Honey, Shallot, Salt, Pepper.  Whisk together with a fork or small whisk until completely blended together.  Taste on a piece of lettuce for seasoning and add salt or pepper as needed.

Herb Parmesan Crisps

  1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment.  If you don't have parchment paper, you can use Aluminum Foil.  Start by make small mounds with 1 Tbls grated parmesan cheese.

  2. Spread each cheese mound out into about a 2 inch flat circle. Each should be about 1 inch apart from the others.  Sprinkle dried Oregano over each Parmesan circle.  

  3. Bake in oven for 5-6 minutes until bubbling and starting to brown around the edges

  4. Remove from oven and let cool.  Once cooled you can remove the crisps from the pan and place on paper towel to soak up some of the excess oil.  These are fragile, so stack them gentle and the lightly wrap in paper towel and place in plastic storage container for transporting.

  5. When adding these to the salad, you can leave them whole for a more dramatic effect, assuming you have at least 1 per guest.  Or you can break them up and sprink them over top.

Bringing it together

  1. When you are ready to serve the salad, toss the Vinaigrette with the salad and tomatoes.  Rearrange the salad to make sure the beautiful tomatoes are on top.  OR serve the dressing on the side and let guests add their own dressing.  Add the Parmesan Crisps and Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you are washing the salad mix in advance, make sure that you dry the leaves as much as possible.  Then roll out 4-5 full sheets of paper towel and dampen it with water.  Lay the dried salad in the paper towel  and roll it up lightly so as not to crush/bruise the leaves.  Then put in a large plastic bag or store in the serving bowl you are using. 

Easy Mushroom Quinoa Risotto

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Creamy Parmesan Mushroom Quinoa Risotto in a bowl on black board with fork next to it. Pan in background. This recipe has the traditional garlic flavor in the background and the nuttiness from the  Parmesan combined with the meaty earthy flavor of the mushrooms.  The quinoa soaks up the broth just as rice does so you make it the same way until it becomes creamy deliciousness.  This recipe is Gluten Free and Vegetarian.

This creamy Parmesan Mushroom Quinoa Risotto is truly one of my all time favorite recipes!!  You get the garlic flavor in the background and the nuttiness from the  Parmesan combined with the earthy mushrooms.  The quinoa soaks up the broth just as rice does so you make it the same way until it becomes creamy deliciousness.  This Quinoa Risotto recipe is Gluten Free and Vegetarian.

I have been making variations of creamy risotto-style rice dishes for many years.  But only recently did I swap rice for Quinoa and I’M IN LOVE with Quinoa Risotto 😍

Mushroom Quinoa Risotto is a Superfood Dish!

If you already make Quinoa at home, then you likely know how amazing it is for you.  Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah, is actually an edible seed.  The Incas referred to it as the “mother of all grains” thousands of years back and believed it to be sacred.  It started to become trendy around the world a handful of years ago.  We now see it show up in a lot of new recipes and it has moved from being a specialty item, to a mainstream grocery store item.  I started to cook with quinoa 2 years ago and use it in place of rice or pasta in a variety of dishes.  It is gluten-free, so I love that benefit as I look to reduce/cut gluten from my diet.

Packed with Nutrients

There are so many health benefits with quinoa.  First, it is high in protein, which makes it a great addition to any vegetarian dish.  1 Cup of Cooked quinoa has 8g of complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.  Quinoa contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains – did you know that?  That was news to me!  Fiber is of course, important for digestion, but also helps reduce high blood pressure, lower cholesterol and lower glucose levels.

Quinoa contains Iron, the antioxidant Manganese and Lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair.  It also is rich in magnesium, which promotes healthy blood sugar control, detoxification, energy production, and the formation of healthy bones and teeth.  Last, but not least, Quinoa is high in Riboflavin (B2), which improves energy metabolism.  It is seriously a Superfood!

Pouring broth into quinoa in a pan for this Creamy Parmesan Mushroom Quinoa Risotto. This recipe has the traditional garlic flavor in the background and the nuttiness from the  Parmesan combined with the meaty earthy flavor of the mushrooms.  The quinoa soaks up the broth just as rice does so you make it the same way until it becomes creamy deliciousness.  This recipe is Gluten Free and Vegetarian.

Making your Quinoa Risotto

This Quinoa risotto recipe uses broth instead of wine to cook and thicken, while focusing on the flavors from the garlic, parmesan, and mushrooms.  I also swapped the heavy cream for low fat milk and you will not miss any of the flavor, I promise!  The quinoa soaks up the broth just as rice does so you make it the same way.  Ladle in the liquid small amounts at a time.  Each time stirring and allowing it to absorb, then adding more until it is perfectly cooked and creamy.

This is a Creamy Parmesan Quinoa Mushroom Risotto in a pan on the stove is a recipe with garlic, parmesan, and mushrooms. I swapped the heavy cream for low fat milk and you will not miss any of the flavor, I promise! The quinoa soaks up the broth just as rice does so you make it the same way until it becomes creamy deliciousness.

This is really an easy recipe and so good for you.

Enjoy!

Quinoa Mushroom Risotto

This creamy Parmesan Mushroom Quinoa Risotto is truly one of my all time favorite recipes!!  You get the traditional garlic flavor in the background and the nuttiness from the  Parmesan combined with the meaty earthy flavor of the mushrooms.  The quinoa soaks up the broth just as rice does so you make it the same way until it becomes creamy deliciousness.  This recipe is Gluten Free and Vegetarian.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword quinoa, risotto
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp Coconut Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cups White Button Mushrooms chopped
  • 5 Scallions thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 clove Garlic minced
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated
  • 6 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1 tsp Oregano dried

Instructions

  1. Preheat vegetable broth in a pot.

  2. Prepare the ingredients for the Quinoa...Slice and then rough shop mushrooms. Slice scallions separating the whites from the greens. Mince 1 clove of garlic.

  3. Rinse the quinoa in a strainer under warm water 2 times.
  4. In a preheated saute pan, saute with 1 tsp Coconut Oil, the mushrooms and the scallion whites. Saute for 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms are seared and reduced in size by half. Remove the mushroom mixture from the pan and set aside.
  5. To the same pan the mushrooms were cooked in, add the garlic and half of the scallion greens for 1-2 minutes. Add the quinoa and a few ladles of hot broth to cover the quinoa. Cook until broth is absorbed, stir frequently. Ladle more broth into the quinoa, another 1/2 cup at a time allowing it to absorb. Continue this until quinoa is fully cooked, about 20 minutes.
    Pouring broth into quinoa in a pan for this Creamy Parmesan Mushroom Quinoa Risotto. This recipe has the traditional garlic flavor in the background and the nuttiness from the  Parmesan combined with the meaty earthy flavor of the mushrooms.  The quinoa soaks up the broth just as rice does so you make it the same way until it becomes creamy deliciousness.  This recipe is Gluten Free and Vegetarian.
  6. Last, add the remaining scallion greens (save a teaspoon for garnish) and the mushrooms and stir to combine. Add the parmesan and stir to combine.  If the parmesan makes it too thick or dry, just add a splash of the broth to make it creamy.  Serve and enjoy!

    This is a Creamy Parmesan Quinoa Mushroom Risotto in a pan on the stove is a recipe with garlic, parmesan, and mushrooms. I swapped the heavy cream for low fat milk and you will not miss any of the flavor, I promise! The quinoa soaks up the broth just as rice does so you make it the same way until it becomes creamy deliciousness.