Save the Rinds - Making a Parmigiano Broth
Parmigiano Reggiano is the undisputed "king" of cheese. In that hard rind lies enticing flavors.
The rind on a wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano is essentially a protective layer of hardened cheese that develops while it ages. The rind is perfectly edible with a depth of flavor that adds another dimension when made into a broth. You can use a variety of aged cheese to make a cheese broth. Besides Parmesan Reggianno you can use the rind from a Grana Pradano, Pecorino Romano or Asiago cheese.
Yield: About 4 cups of broth (Recipe can be doubled to make more broth)
1cup rinsed and clean aged imported Parmigiano Reggiano rinds (not domestic Parmesan)
1 head of garlic halved crosswise
2 T extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
8 cups water
cheesecloth and butcher's twine
Instructions In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, cut-side down, and cook until garlic is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, being careful not to let the garlic burn. Wrap Parmigiano rinds in cheesecloth, tying the top with butcher string. Add the bundled rinds and 8 cups water into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the broth tastes full and rich and is reduced by half, 2-3 hours. Stir occasionally, to ensure cheese does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Strain the broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Once cool, the broth will keep for one week, refrigerated or three months in the freezer.
*Parmesan rind stock is a rich and flavorful broth that can be used as an alternative to chicken or vegetable broth. Use for Italian soups and stews, risotto, to make Italian bean dishes or as a braising liquid for spinach, kale or cabbage.