Parmesan broth boosts the flavor of everything it touches. More robust than meat- or vegetable-based stocks, this kitchen staple summons the complex essence of aged cheese to serve as a liquid foundation for simmered beans, brothy soups and braised vegetables. This recipe relies on leftover Parmesan rinds, which can be collected over time and stored in the freezer, or bought at some supermarket cheese counters and most specialty cheese shops. If refrigerating the broth for later use, break up the solidified fats with the back of a spoon, or warm to redistribute before using.
- Serves: 9 persons
- 3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1large (skin-on) yellow onion, quartered from tip to tip
- 1whole head garlic, cut in half crosswise
- ¾pound Parmesan rinds (about 5 large rinds)
- 15fresh parsley sprigs
- 8fresh thyme sprigs
- 2teaspoons whole black peppercorns
- 2dried bay leaves
Step 1In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the oil over medium. Add onion quarters and halved garlic, and cook, flat-side down, until the onion and garlic are lightly brown, about 3 minutes. Add Parmesan rinds, parsley, thyme, peppercorns, bay leaves and 12 cups water; bring to a boil.
Step 2Once the water comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Partly cover and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the cheese from sticking to the bottom of the pot, until broth is cloudy and tastes strongly like Parmesan, 2 1/2 hours.
Step 3Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing the vegetables and cheese rinds to extract as much liquid as possible. Let cool, then store the broth in the refrigerator up to 1 week or the freezer up to 3 months.