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

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parmigiano reggiano cheese cut plate
Credit: 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.

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.

4. CRISP UP CUTLETS

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

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.

Watch the easiest way to shave Parmesan:

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