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5 New Ways to Savor Parmesan Cheese—It's Not Just for Pasta!

Learn how to make the most of this versatile, umami-packed ingredient.

Assistant Editor
parmigiano reggiano cheese cut plate
Photography by: Sidney Bensimon

With its nutty taste, crumbly texture, and heady aroma, Parmigiano-Reggiano is sublime on so much more than pasta. Here’s how to pick a good wedge and wield it in five new and deeply delicious ways.

 

Parm Pointers

The Real Deal

To find an authentic piece of this aged cow’s-milk cheese, which hails from a specific region in northern Italy, look for its name dotted on the rind. Always grate it straight off the hunk—or, if you need more than a cup, pulse chunks in a food processor.

 

Smart Storage

Keep the cheese sealed in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to a month, and put rinds in a resealable plastic bag for up to two months (or six, if frozen).

 

 

5 Unexpected Ways to Use Parm

1. Enrich Marinara

The rind is tough but full of flavor: Melt a hunk into simmering tomato sauce to add umami as it dissolves. Remove leftover pieces with a slotted spoon.

 

Try This Classic Marinara Recipe

 

2. Upgrade a Finishing Oil

Warm a cup of extra-virgin olive oil in a saucepan, and add the rind. Remove from heat and steep until cool, then strain the oil into an airtight container and use for dipping, drizzling over vegetables, or whisking into a vinaigrette.

 

3. Improve on Croutons

Toss cubed bread with olive oil, grated Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees on a rimmed baking sheet, turning a few times, for about 15 minutes.

 

Learn How to Make a Perfectly Crisp, Flavorful Salad Every Time

 

4. Crisp Up Cutlets

Mix equal parts grated Parmesan and breadcrumbs to coat chicken or pork before pan-frying.

 

Get the Parmesan Pork Cutlets Recipe

 

5. Savor Every Sprinkle

Grate it over scrambled eggs, seasoned with a few grinds of fresh pepper, for a cacio e pepe take on breakfast.

 

Get the Secret to Foolproof Scrambled Eggs

 

 

Watch the easiest way to shave Parmesan: