Our last column was full of praise for Parmigiano-Reggiano. This great cheese is worthy of all that praise: it is very natural, very healthy, very delicious and very consistent. It is wonderful by itself in chunks, shaved over or grated into foods, cooked or uncooked. It has been so good at doing so many things for so long - over 800 years - that it has earned the nickname in the dairy industry, “The King of Cheeses”
Here are some of the ways to make your food taste exceptional with Parmigiano Reggiano -
In Appetizers and Salads
Parmigiano-Reggiano is a perfect topping for salads, adding tons of flavour without a ton of calories. It is, in fact, a fairly low-fat cheese, since it is made from partially skimmed milk. It can also dress up vegetables (like Brussels sprouts) and make them more appealing.
Add shavings of 12 to 18-month old Parmigiano Reggiano to raw vegetables, such as celery and cherry tomatoes. This cheese can also be complemented with mild chutney with kiwi, apricot, and melon. Serve with a dry white wine.
In Soup and Pasta Courses
A 24-month old Parmigiano Reggiano is an ideal match for most of the traditional Italian pasta dishes, both grated and in slivers. How’s this for a twist? Cook the cheese rind in vegetable soup.
In Main Courses
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano is the best way to complete a dish. It adds rich flavour and softens slightly but doesn't melt into a gooey mess. Adding the cheese as an ingredient before the dish starts to cook (like in lasagna) adds a salty, savoury flavour and in turn, you can add less salt to the food.
With Meat and Fish
A 26 to 30-month old Parmigiano Reggiano can augment the flavour in preparation of main courses. Add slivers on meat or fish carpaccios or on roast beef with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Serve along with more or less structured red wines.
Parmigiano Reggiano goes well with fresh vegetable salads, dressed with a bit of extra-virgin olive oil. It’s absolutely necessary for baked vegetable pies and for traditional recipes, such as Aubergine Parmigiana.
A 12 to 18-month old Parmigiano Reggiano can be savoured with fresh fruit such as apples and pears. A 24 to 28-month old Parmigiano Reggiano is wonderful with any type of nuts and dried fruit (walnuts, hazelnuts and figs), especially with dried plums.
With Traditional Balsamic Vinegar
A sliver of matured Parmigiano Reggiano is delightful if served with a few drops of traditional balsamic vinegar from Modena or Reggio Emilia.
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Source(s): sassytownhouseliving, thespruceeats, reggitup, williams-sonoma, Diet Doctor, Sainsburys, The Chef & the dish, Forbes