This is one of those little tricks that seems so obvious once you know about it, but that many people don’t know about yet. It’s just one of those little things! Kinda like my tub drain unclogging trick, or my 10 minute DIY pillow cover trick. If this Parmesan curl trick is something you’ve known for a long time, you may feel like it’s silly that I’m even sharing this. Heck, I even feel a little silly sharing this. It’s just that simple. BUT. Those really simple, but really useful tips are always the best ones. Plus, I didn’t know about this until a few weeks ago and now I feel like a whole new world of food garnishes has been opened up to me!
So here’s what you do!
Start with a block of Parmesan cheese.
When it comes to cheese and food garnishes in our house, the last few years have definitely been mostly about speed and convenience. That means there’s been a whole lot of “shaky cheese” in a can on pasta night around these parts. 🙂 Something in the grocery store spoke to me though the other day and said “Courtenay, the time has come for you to return to real cheese again. You can do it! You can find the time! It’s worth it!” So the block of Parmesan made its way into my shopping cart and then I made my way home, excited to be garnishing in style!
Then I got home and I remembered that I’d thrown out my little rotating cheese grinder thing (you know, like they bring around the table at Italian restaurants) a few years ago in a fit of decluttering and I just didn’t want to use a regular cheese grater for the Parmesan on top of the pasta. It just didn’t seem right. So I made these curls instead!
Here’s my block of cheese, all ready to go.
The first step you’ll need to take is to resist the urge to take a big bite out of your cheese. You want to keep the block intact so that you can get nice long curls. This will only take a few seconds. You can wait that long. I believe in you.
Next, you’ll take a vegetable peeler and make long peels of cheese, almost like you’re peeling a big carrot.
Do that a whole bunch of times until you have a little pile of cheese peelings, big enough to garnish all the plates of pasta that you’ll need to garnish on that particular occasion. Plus a few extra for snacking. 🙂
And that’s it!
For some reason, I prefer the “swivel” type of peeler for this, whereas I like the use the non-swiveling one for actual veggies. I don’t know why, but it really does seem to make a difference!
The “curls” part of Parmesan curls comes in when you stack them all together and some of them naturally bend a bit. Or when you pile them on top of a hot pizza or some pasta (like this easy baked tortellini!) and the heat causes them to soften and appear a bit curled again. But they aren’t actually curls. We just kind of perceive them as being curly for some reason! 🙂
Whether curly or not though, they’re incredibly delicious and really take almost any dish up a notch on the fanciness scale!
So that’s the word on Parmesan curls! Hope this one comes in handy for all of my fellow cheese-lovers out there!
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.