Calling all parmesan fans! Don’t just sprinkle it on pasta; try it in one of these delicious recipes for a change. After you’ve read our dazzling parmesan facts and tips, of course…
The king of hard cheese
This classic Italian cheese, aka Parmigiano Reggiano, is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk and matured over a long period of time (anything from 12 to a lengthy 48 months). It’s a straw-coloured hard cheese with a distinctive grainy, crumbly texture.
Parmesan is produced everywhere but in order to be true parmesan it must be made with milk from cows that graze on fresh grass and hay. It’s then stamped with the official Parigiano Reggiano mark (the dotted text on the rind) to show authenticity.
Buy and try
Fresh is best – you really will notice the difference. Anything ready-grated won’t taste like proper parmesan. Also, the longer it’s matured for the deeper the flavour. Another tip: real parmesan isn’t vegetarian because it’s made with animal rennet.
Wrap it in wax paper to stop it from drying out and keep it in the fridge away from strong smelling food. Storage no-nos include wrapping in plastic, which makes it ‘sweat’, and freezing it (unless grated first). Left whole, it lasts for months in the fridge so you shouldn’t need to freeze it anyway.
Permission to parmesan
If you like nibbling on parmesan, here’s a brilliantly simple recipe to make it feel like you’ve done something fancy with it – parmesan crisps! Or add just a few more ingredients and pop in the ActiFry for these parmesan nibbles.
Jazz up your roasties for a special occasion (making it through to Thursday for instance) by coating them in parmesan and a little polenta for extra crunch.
Or go all out with these loaded Korean chilli cheese fries. FYI, Gochuang, or red chilli paste, is a Korean fermented condiment. It’s worth hunting down but if you struggle to find it, try sriracha instead.
With its slow-roasted veggies, a generous serving of parmesan and mix of classic herbs, aubergine parmigiana is just the sort of dish to devour on cold, dark weekend evenings.
If you’re short on time, this butternut squash risotto is a speedy and satisfying alternative. Speedy risotto? Surely not. It is when it uses a microwave!