Parmesan cheese is a delicious and versatile ingredient that can be used in countless dishes. But what about the rind? That often-discarded piece of cheese can actually be a goldmine of flavor! Here’s what to do with parmesan rinds to get the most bang out of your buck.
In this post, we’ll explore some creative ways to use Parmesan rinds to add depth and complexity to your cooking.
What are Parmesan rinds?
Parmesan rinds are the hard, outer layer of Parmesan cheese. They’re made from a mixture of whey, salt, and cheese solids. While they may not look like much, Parmesan rinds are packed with umami, the savory fifth taste that can elevate your dishes.
How to store Parmesan rinds
- Fridge: You can store rinds in the fridge for up to four weeks. To store, wrap the rinds in foil and place the foil-wrapped rind in a zip-lock bag or vacuum-sealed bag to minimize air exposure and prevent freezer burn.
- Freeze: Freezing is the best way to store Parmesan rinds for an extended period. Wrap the rind tightly in foil or plastic wrap before placing it in a freezer bag.
Tip: Label the container or bag with the date to stay organized.
Creative ways to use Parmesan rinds
- Infuse soups and stews: Add a Parmesan rind to your pot of soup or stew while it simmers. The rind will slowly release its flavor, creating a richer, more complex broth. We love it in this Italian wedding soup, minestrone soup and Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana.
- Boost the flavor of sauces: Parmesan rinds can be used to enhance the flavor of sauces. Add a rind to your next batch of marinara sauce, bolognese sauce, or Sunday Gravy for an extra umami kick.
- Make a Parmesan broth: Simmer Parmesan rinds in water with herbs and spices to create a flavorful parmesan stock that can be used in soups, risottos, or as a base for pan sauces.
- Add depth to risotto: Parmesan rinds are a secret weapon for making restaurant-quality risotto. Add a rind to your pot of risotto broth while it simmers to release its flavor and create a creamy, cheesy texture. I love the extra parmesan flavor in this mushroom risotto and lemon risotto.
Note: Your parmesan rind may not fully dissolve. That’s ok! Simply remove it from your dish before serving.
- You can often find parmesan rinds sold at the cheese counter of grocery stores.
- Parmesan rinds can be salty, so be sure to taste your dishes before adding additional salt.
- The older the rind, the stronger the flavor will be. So, consider the age of the rind when deciding how you want to use it.
- If you’re not a fan of the strong Parmesan flavor, you can use smaller pieces of rind or simmer them for a shorter time.
- There’s no need to thaw frozen rinds before using them. Simply add them directly to your pot or pan.
These are just a few ideas for using Parmesan rinds. With a little creativity, you can find endless ways to add their unique flavor to your cooking.
So next time you reach for a block of Parmesan cheese, don’t toss the rind! Save it and unlock a world of flavor possibilities.
- Parmesan Polenta
- Parmesan Broth
- Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan
- Italian Radicchio Salad Recipe with Parmesan
- Prosciutto di Parmesan
- Crispy Mushroom Parmesan
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What to Do with Parmesan Rinds
- Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook, cut-side down, until slightly charred, about 3 minutes.
- Add wine and bring to a simmer. Cook, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
- Add water, parmesan rinds, thyme, parsley, peppercorns and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until broth is very flavorful and reduced by about half, at least 2 ½ hours, or longer if time permits.
- Strain the broth through a fine-mesh strainer and discard the solids. Season with salt, to taste, if desired.
- Enjoy in your favorite recipe.