Have you ever wondered what to do with Parmesan rinds or how they can be used in cooking?
Well, the answer lies in their convenience: Parmesan rind can lend a wonderful flavor during long simmers and braises.
Incorporating them into soups, stews, and sauces is a great way of deepening the layer of flavor and complexity.
However, if you don’t have any Parmesan rind on hand, there are several substitutes that can help you create the same flavors.
In this article, we will discuss the five best substitutes for Parmesan rinds.
What’s Parmesan Rind?
Have you ever wondered what to do with the hard, lumpy rinds of Parmesan cheese after you have finished eating it? Some may throw them away, but have you ever considered using them for cooking? These Parmesan rinds are an incredible yet underrated ingredient that can transform a dish from ordinary to extraordinary.
The umami flavor of Parmesan pairs well with added texture and richness that these rinds provide.
When simmered with a liquid such as stocks, soups, and stews, the intense tanginess of the Parmesan is released in a subtle manner, enhancing both sweet and savory recipes.
It also adds complexity and subtly eliminates bitterness in dishes such as greens.
What’s more, these cheese scraps give a delicious salty bite that can be used to make a deliciously creamy pan sauce.
To use it, all you need is to add one or two wafer-thin slices into the pot while cooking or even dice them into smaller pieces before adding them to the broth or sauce.
So go ahead and experiment to unlock its endless cheesy goodness.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Parmesan Rind
If you can’t find Parmesan rinds, don’t let them dampen the flavor of your next recipe.
Instead, substitute one of these other cheese rinds for a similar taste experience.
1 – Pecorino cheese
Many of us are familiar with the finesse of Parmesan cheese, but have we ever considered its Italian cousin – Pecorino? It’s a hard, salty, aged cheese made from sheep’s milk and is known for its age-old sharp flavors.
Its texture ranges from semi-soft to rock-hard, depending on how long it is aged.
The taste starts off as sweet, then changes to a slightly nutty finish.
Pecorino cheese can be used as a substitute for Parmesan in recipes such as risottos and soups, where Parmesan is usually added as a rind.
All you need to do is stir in a spoonful of grated Pecorino towards the end trial of the cooking process, and it gifts your dish with this delightful delicacy.
2 – Ricotta cheese
Ricotta cheese has been a staple of Italian cuisine for centuries, but it still manages to surprise many today.
It is a soft, creamy cheese made from the whey left over after making other cheeses such as mozzarella or Parmesan.
Not only is this cheese delicate in flavor and spreadable in texture, but it also has many potential uses in cooking.
One particularly quirkily delicious application of ricotta cheese is to use it as the base of the flavors when substituting parmesan rinds in broths or sauces.
Such a substitution ensures that the same comfort provided by parmesan rinds can be achieved without spending all that money on buying them.
Who knew ricotta could be so versatile?
3 – Grated Romano cheese
There’s something perplexing about grated Romano cheese – why is it so hard to find yet so delicious? While the packaging might not have the same notoriety as Parmesan, it certainly holds up in the taste and texture department.
Romano cheese is harder than typical Parmesan, which provides a distinctive crispiness when melted.
It also has a slightly pungent and sharp flavor profile, making it ideal for adding an extra kick to dishes like pasta and vegetables.
If you can’t find grated Romano cheese at your usual grocery store, try looking in specialty shops or, better yet, substituting it with a piece of parmesan rind.
Put it into soups and stocks, then remove it when finished cooking to get all the benefits of Romano without having to do any extra work.
4 – Feta cheese
Feta cheese is a rather peculiar type of cheese that has been entrancing foodies around the world.
Originally hailing from Greece, this white, crumbly cheese is made of sheep or goat’s milk and uniquely aged in brine.
With its somewhat salty flavor and firm yet creamy texture, this cheese can be added to any dish to give it an extra kick.
Feta cheese is great to use as a topping for pizza or ground up on salads and pasta dishes.
Furthermore, one popular way to substitute feta for parmesan rinds is to place chunks of feta into soups and stews before simmering for several hours – giving off an incredible depth of flavor.
All in all, feta cheese proves itself to be one of the culinary world’s greatest stars.
5 – Roquefort cheese
Roquefort cheese is indeed a puzzling one – with an earthy, sharp, and salty flavor profile; some would argue that it’s unlike any other cheese out there.
Produced in protected caves in Roquefort sur Soulzon, France, since the 14th century (it’s even the first legally-protected food name), it is created by allowing Penicillium roqueforti spores to grow inside its salty and creamy paste made out of sheep milk.
The rind is thick and edible, though sharp yet sweet.
It pairs well with sweeter flavors like honey and apples or figs for an elevated snack or appetizer.
To give more depth to your pasta dishes or salads, try substituting parmesan rind for slices of Roquefort cheese – you’ll be sure to hit the mark.
In conclusion, there are many substitutes for parmesan rinds out there in the culinary world – all of which offer unique flavor profiles and provide a creative way to add an extra bit of zing to your dishes.
Whether you opt for Pecorino cheese, ricotta cheese, grated Romano cheese, feta cheese, or Roquefort cheese, rest assured that you will still be able to get the same comfort provided by parmesan rinds without breaking the bank.
So don’t hesitate to experiment with one of these delicious alternatives and see what amazing results await.