Why It Works
- Simmering Parmesan rinds in water creates an easy, flavorful stock from scraps that would otherwise get thrown out.
- Blending the softened rinds after simmering produces a rich and creamy stock with intense flavor, perfect for using in soups, braises, and sauces.
Typically, Parmesan rinds get thrown out or into soups once people hit the hard, “ungrateable” edge, but there’s more ways to use the rind than simply throwing it into a simmering pot on the stove. I like to hold onto the rinds and make a simple stock with them, which I can then store in the refrigerator or freezer.
There are two ways to make a stock from Parmesan rinds. The first is to simply simmer rinds in water, which produces a light, delicious, cheese-flavored broth. However, the second route is my preferred approach, since you wring every last bit of flavor from the rinds: you simmer the rinds in water and then blend them, using an immersion blender or countertop blender, which produces a creamier, more concentrated Parmesan stock.
The creamy Parmesan stock can be used as a substitute for water or stock in any recipe where you think the flavor will work. It forms a great soup base, as well as a flavorful liquid for rouxs and other sauces. Trying to boost the flavors of risotto? Look no further. Cheesy beignets, fried dough, biscuits? The possibilities are endless.
I’ve made this with both rinds of Parmigiano-Reggiano and other non-Italian Parmesans, and I typically will save them, well-wrapped and in the freezer, until I have enough to make the stock.
- 9 ounces (250g) Parmesan rind scraps (about 2 1/2- to 3-inch pieces)
- 6 cups (1.5L) water
- 1 teaspoon (3g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume
Using a paring knife or vegetable peeler, scrape away and remove any mold residue from the Parmesan rinds. Place rinds in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cool water for 30 seconds.
Combine rinds with water and salt in a 3-quart saucier or large saucepan, and bring to simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to maintain gentle simmer, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to ensure that rinds don’t stick to bottom of the saucepan. Remove from heat.
Working while the Parmesan mixture is still very hot, transfer rinds and broth to a countertop blender jar or tall and narrow vessel suitable for an immersion blender. Using a countertop or immersion blender, pulse, starting at low speed and gradually increasing to high speed, until liquid is creamy and Parmesan rinds are broken down into coarse-breadcrumb-size pieces, 1 to 2 minutes. Strain stock through fine-mesh strainer, let cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. Parmesan stock can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Parmesan stock can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days and frozen for up to 3 months.