Cestino di Parmigiano
Serves 4

These striking mesclun-filled cestinos (baskets) made from Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese look difficult to create, but they are surprisingly simple to make.


cup white wine
cup lemon juice
shallots, finely chopped
tablespoons Dijon mustard
cup extra virgin olive oil
to 3 tablespoons honey
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil pan spray
cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
cups mesclun greens, washed and dried
slices prosciutto di Parma
ounces goat cheese, crumbled

  1. Place white wine, lemon juice and shallots in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Transfer wine-shallot mixture into a blender. Add mustard, olive oil and honey and blend until shallots are finely puréed and mixture is thick. Taste and add salt, freshly ground black pepper or more honey, if desired. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. While lemon-mustard dressing is chilling, make Parmigiano-Reggiano baskets. Spray a nonstick skillet with a thin coating of pan spray and warm over medium heat.
  4. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in a rough circle shape in pan (about 5 inches across) and cook until its edges turn brown.
  5. Remove pan from heat and using a spatula, remove cheese circle from pan and invert onto an upside down water glass. Gently press side of cheese circle over the glass to form a basket shape. Repeat 3 times with remaining grated cheese. Allow cheese baskets to cool.
  6. Toss mesclun greens with chilled lemon-mustard dressing. Fill each cheese basket with greens and top with crumbled goat cheese and 1 slice of prosciutto. Serve immediately.