Cheese rinds are critical in creating and holding in the flavors of our favorite cheeses, but that’s not all they’re good for. You might be tempted to throw away the harder more bitter rinds once you have scooped out all the creaminess inside, but you would be missing out on a world of flavors. There are many ways to use Parmesan Reggiano rinds in your cooking that will coax out their hidden flavors and incorporate them throughout your meals.
1. In Soups
Probably one of the more commonly known methods for using up Parmesan rinds is to cook them into broth. The rich, savory, vegetarian broth works well in soups from minestrone to split pea. We even have a great recipe for Parmesan Broth that will make the perfect vegetarian substitute for any recipe that calls for chicken broth.
2. Pasta Sauce
With great sauce comes great responsibility in seasoning. Everyone has their go-to spices, but who doesn’t like to experiment? Throwing a Parmesan rind in your tomato sauce will add nice saltiness and that subtle cheesy flavor that will harmoniously intensify if you choose to sprinkle more Parmesan onto your plate. The rinds would also be great for adding more cheesiness in your Alfredo sauce!
While a Parmesan rind will enhance the flavors in your sauce, putting it in a pot of beans or bean stew can bring in something completely new. Its richness will add subtle cheesy flavor that you’ll be able to taste in every single bean!
Parmesan rinds can also bring a lot of flavor to your Risotto. Just add it to the stock while it boils and bring it to a simmer once you add the Risotto.
5. Parmesan Oil
Bring flavor to your olive oil by throwing in a Parmesan rind. The rind will give it a subtle flavor without interfering with the consistency of the oil. Pour some oil into a jar and let the rind steep, then remove the rind and use the oil for salad dressing or a appetizing dip for bread.
Remember to remove the rinds after every use to prevent consuming any wax. Unless you’re using Parmigiano Reggiano, in which case there is no wax and it is safe to eat. Now start saving those rinds and get to cooking!Photo Credit: Featured image of baked cannelloni courtesy of Shutterstock