One Ingredient, Three Ways: Parmesan Rinds

Gentle Readers, nothing is more satisfying than using an ingredient to the last drop. Especially when it’s a costly one. If you’ve been throwing away your Parmesan rinds, today is the day to stop doing so. And if you have no rinds because you’re using a certain green can, get thee to a cheesery. Ahem, as I was saying, Parmesan rinds are bursting with flavor, and you can drop them in all sorts of dishes.

Parmesan Rinds: Endless flavor possibilities!

Parmesan Rinds: Endless flavor possibilities!

To save them, just grate to your desired end point, wrap, and freeze. That’s it. Best to label them so you use oldest first. I drop them right into the dish, but if you think of it, set it out on the counter while you’re prepping. Could not be easier!

One Ingredient, Three Ways: Parmesan Rinds

1. Cooked Greens. As a bacon or pork substitute, the Parmesan rind was an outstanding performer. The Collard Greens for Haters Recipe, Vegetarian Version featured one such rind, and it added a depth of flavor even I didn’t expect. I’m so proud to say it converted one hater on the spot. This will work with other leafy greens, but works best when you cook them for a while, not just a fast saute.

Vegetarian Collards for Haters, Order Up!

Vegetarian Collards for Haters, Order Up!

2. Beans and Soups. Coming tomorrow, I’ll share a Vegetarian Down-Home Black-Eyed Peas recipe that features a Parmesan rind as a substitute for a ham hock, which I find too hoofy for my taste. I know, I just lost 2 Southern points, but hopefully my love of Fried will redeem me. Add a Parmesan rind to any pot of beans, peas, or soups for a rich, salty, cheese flavor. Minestrone would be awesome that way.

Vegetarian Down-Home Black-Eyed Peas: Delicious!

Vegetarian Down-Home Black-Eyed Peas: Delicious!

3. Risotto. I really love risotto, and I’ve done it a few ways, with red and with white wine. Regardless, I love the deep, layered flavors it provides, and the mouthfeel. I find adding a Parmesan rind to the process (the stock, the rice, either way) enriches the flavor further. This is on my to make list soon, so apologies for the lack of picture/recipe. I’ve got a LOT of cooking to do this year.

How do you use your Parmesan rinds? Do you save scraps in the freezer for future use? Confess here in the comments section, or Tweet!

Send your cheese rinds, your challenges, and your gentle reminders to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Up next, Vegetarian Down-Home Black-Eyed Peas, Or Move Over Porky.

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9 Comments

Filed under One Ingredient Three Ways

9 responses to “One Ingredient, Three Ways: Parmesan Rinds

  1. Nancy Pekar

    Perhaps if you fried the rind you’d get those points back! Seriously, I know I should save the rind… and now I’m *really* going to start doing it. Thanks for the inspiration. On a separate note (and hearkening back to an earlier comment I made) I had another idea for you to consider for your 2012 posts: a Bacon Taste Test involving several brands in a blind tasting. I’d love to be part of it or at the very least read the results of it. Just a thought!

    • The Practical Cook

      Now I just want to fry Parmesan. Thanks. :)

      I accept your bacon challenge, and hereby nominate you as a panelist. I’ll be procuring samples, in um, the name of science.

  2. angela

    great tip! i’ll be trying a rind in my next round of risotto.

    • The Practical Cook

      I plan on inviting myself to try a round of your risotto. Strictly in the name of science of course. :)

      (Gentle Readers, one must be bold when one knows great cooks.)

  3. Pingback: Parmesan Rinds Spotted, Or, I Told You So | The Practical Cook

  4. As a Southerner and vegetarian, I’m definitely going to toss a p-r rind next time I make greens!

    And I have to admit that I have made fried p-r rinds … a little flour, a little egg wash, some fresh bread crumbs! Think mozzarella en carozza, but tender, nutty and chewy. And delicious!

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