It’s never too late to start collecting Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds in the freezer. Ask your favorite cheese merchant to save them for you. I have to warn you: Any cheese remaining on the rinds will get soft and spongy during cooking, and some of that gooey cheese will cling to your pot. The cleanup is a pain but worth it. Use this stock for vegetable soups or risotto. Recipe courtesy of Napa Valley caterer Sarah Scott.
2 pounds Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds
½ yellow onion, peeled and halved
1 inner celery rib, in 2 pieces
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
1 dozen fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
Put the rinds, onion, celery, garlic, thyme and bay leaf in a heavy soup pot. Add cold water to cover the rinds by 1 inch (about 2-1/2 quarts). Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often to keep the rinds from settling. Cover partially, adjust the heat to maintain a bare simmer and cook for 1 hour.
Let the stock cool, then strain. Refrigerate the stock overnight, then lift off the congealed fat. Use the stock within a couple of days or freeze for longer storage.
Makes about 1-3/4 quarts