TRASH TO TREASURE PLEASURES
Don’t pitch out those odds and ends from vegetables. They’re money in your pocket!
How much of those vegetables you just bought will end up in the trash? A lot- and it’s not because they’ve gone bad. It’s because you’re throwing “way “II those peels, stems, leaves. and trimmed ends. But you can put them to good use for 111/ kinds of delicious, nutritious bonuses. Plus, what could be thriftier? Here’s how to treasure ever:11 inch of your veggies.
STEMS. Most cooks use only the leaves from soft herbs such as cilantro and parsley. But their crisp, flavorful sterns can be chopped and added right into tabbouleh or salsa, or silvered for a soup garnish.
TOPS. Buying root vegetables for their sweet bottoms doesn’t have to mean wasti11g the crop up top. Beet, turnip, or radish greens can be braised¬with or without their chopped roots-in a little olive oil with a chopped garlic clove and a splash of water. Snip ferny carrot greens like an herb to season cooked or raw carrot dishes.
LEAVES. DOn’t leave leaves! Dark-green leek tops can be steamed, buttered, and served as a side, or slivered and added to stocks and soups. Any happy-looking broccoli or cauliflower leaves can be chopped and used along with the florets. Celery leaves from inside the bunch are a great go-to herb: Chop them to up the oomph of tuna salad, garnish minestrone, or to add flavor to a salad.
STALKS. Broccoli stalks are sweet and delicious. Peel, chop, and add them in with the heads, or grate them solo into a raw slaw Stripped chard or kale stems can be sliced, braised until tender-olive oil, garlic, and a splash of white wine makes them extra delicious-and served as a side.
ZEST. There’s an even more intense punch of flavor in citrus rind than in the Juice. If you’re following a juice-only recipe, take a minute to first wash and grate the zest of an orange, lemon, or lime into a small jar of olive oil. Shake it up, and you’ll have an aromatic citrus oil on hand for marinades and dressings.
SEEDS. Go out of your gourd and roast the seeds of any winter squash. Just clean and dry them, toss them with a bit of oil and salt on a baking sheet then roast them in a 300°F oven, stirring halfway through, until crisp and golden, about 25 minutes. Snack away-or use the seeds to garnish your butternut bisque.
ODDS AND . flavor, use it Cook corncobs in water to make a simple broth for- your chowder. Or· simmer· scraps-root and squash peelings, green bean ends, wilted greens, or stems from woocly herbs-with onion, carrots, and celery in a vegetable stock.