During the aging process, Parmigiano Reggiano wheels form a natural, edible outside coating or “rind.” The King of Cheese has countless culinary uses, but once the flavorful paste has all been grated, sliced, or shaved, the hard, chewy rind often gets tossed. However, the ends, too, can be used in the kitchen. They’re commonly utilized as umami bombs in a myriad of broths, sauces, and braised dishes, simmering in liquid to extract the cheesy, meaty richness. But even then the rinds are thrown out once the dish is complete. We’ve got a better idea.
When roasted, Parmigiano Reggiano rinds transform into salty, crunchy, irresistible snacks perfect for serving alongside a stiff drink. These days, every dollar counts and food waste is a hot topic—turning your leftover rinds into a delicious snack just makes sense.
Rev Up Your Rinds
- Toss roasted rinds with chopped basil, chopped oregano, and freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano for an upgraded snack.
- Cut roasted rinds into bite-size pieces and use as a crunchy garnish for salad.
- Uncooked rinds can be stashed in the freezer for up to four months. Thaw fully prior to roasting.
Fried Parmesan Rinds
- Baking sheet
- Parchment Paper
- 10 ¼- to ½- inch-thick Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano rinds
- ►Using a damp paper towel, wipe the outside edge of the rind to remove any impurities. Pat rinds dry. If rinds seem too fresh (very pliable and soft), leave out at room temperature for a couple hours to dry. Heat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place rinds, evenly spaced, on prepared baking sheet. Do not overcrowd to avoid rinds sticking together as they puff.
- ►Roast rinds for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness. (The thinner and drier a rind, the faster it will puff and roast.) Transfer finished rinds to a cooling rack using tongs to avoid any fat that leached out in the roasting process. Cool fully, about 5 to 10 minutes, before eating.