Giada Has the Smartest Way to Keep Parmesan Rinds From Going to Waste
With enough ooey-gooey recipes in your back pocket, you'll never have to worry about letting the cheese in your refrigerator go to waste. Whether you toss the scraps of a block of Cheddar into a broccoli soup, sprinkle the last of your feta on some roasted veggies or scrape the rest of your mascarpone into a tiramisu, there's always a way to keep dairy delicacies out of the trash. And now Giada De Laurentiis has added another brilliant idea to the list.
The Giadzy, De Laurentiis' blog for all things delicious, posted a photo of Giada's Parmesan Brodo this week, with the promise that "this savory, flavorful stock will make all of your soups, stews and sauces extra amazing this season." Just one look at this herby, umami-flavored broth makes that statement pretty easy to believe.
The recipe starts with saving your Parmesan rinds—that's the hard layer on the outside of your block of cheese. But that doesn't mean you need to use up a whole bunch of the strong cheese at once. You can actually store your rinds in the freezer until you've got enough to flavor your broth. (The folks at Giadzy say their freezers are "full of Parm rinds," so you know you're in good company.)
To make the broth, Giada starts with a pound of Parmesan rinds, a peeled and chopped carrot, a chopped celery stalk, a halved head of garlic and a halved onion. For an extra punch of flavor, she adds sprigs of fresh oregano and thyme, plus a bay leaf and salt. We're big fans of adding in fresh peppercorns and parsley to boost flavor in a broth, too.
Giada tops her melange of veggies, cheese and aromatics with eight cups of water in a large pot or saucepan, then brings the mixture to a boil and simmers for an hour and 15 minutes. (You'll need a pretty big pot, like this pretty 6.5-quart Dutch oven from Caraway or this 8-quart pot with a built-in strainer from All-Clad.) When the broth is done, simply strain into your favorite jars or containers and refrigerate or freeze until you're ready to use it.
You could use the broth in the place of chicken or vegetable broth in your favorite recipes—just be advised that Parmesan broth isn't vegetarian, since the cheese is typically processed with animal rennet. The Giadzy recommends swapping in the broth for spectacularly flavored risotto or supremely tasty minestrone soup. The broth would probably be delicious in our Chicken & Spinach Soup with Fresh Pesto or this Easy Italian Wedding Soup.
The next time you make one of our favorite Parmesan-forward recipes, be sure to toss those rinds into a freezer bag for this broth that one Giadzy writer calls a "magic potion." Now we just have to decide what delicious soup to make with the leftover veggies!