frico (italian cheese wafers)

12 wafers    |   
Prep Time:
10 minutes    |   
Cook Time:
10 minutes

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Want a gluten-free appetizer? Just melt some Italian cheese in your oven and you’ve got frico, Italian cheese wafers. Use Montasio, Parmigiano-Reggiano, or Grana Padano…or good old grated cheddar. You can leave out the cayenne if you don’t want the heat and you can leave out the pepper if you don’t want that either. A true frico is made with only one thing: cheese.


1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheese (see above)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, stir together cheese, black pepper, and cayenne. Divide mixture into 12 mounds on prepared baking sheets (about a heaping tablespoon each), spacing at least 3 inches apart. Pat each mound into a flat disk with your fingers. Bake until the fricos are deep golden and crisp, about 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and pull parchment, with frico wafers still attached, from pan onto counter; let cool. (Frico can be made up to one day ahead and stored airtight at room temperature.) Serve as an appetizer with sliced apples or pears, or with arugula salad instead of croutons.