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What to do with vegetable leavings - especially leeks, chard, fennel?

All afternoon I have been preparing food in advance for house guests. I used leeks, chard, cauliflower, fennel among other things. I was shocked by how much I threw away; the chard stems - the cauliflower leaves, half the weight of the leeks and the fennel fronds. Composting isn't the answer - I am in a condo. What, if anything, can be done with these goodies?

asked by SKK over 4 years ago
8 answers 2372 views
added over 4 years ago

second that..the central white stem of the cauliflower, I usually make it into a quick relish. peel the outer tough layer & dice the central 'marrow' into tiny cubes or shred & combine with salt, cayenne pepper powder & a pinch of turmeric with a tablespoon of coarsely powdered mustard seeds. heat 2 tbsp of vegetable or olive oil till near smoking & pour over the mix. Spritz with lime or lemon juice as per your preference. one cauliflower stem usually yields about 1/2 a cup.


Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 4 years ago

I'm in the stock camp.


pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 4 years ago

If you were Thomas Keller you would use the leek greens as the basis for bouquet garnie for stocks. Into the greens go bay leaves, whole sprigs of thyme and parsley or other whole herbs. Tie it up with kitchen string.

added over 4 years ago

never throw your chard stems away! they stay good for a few weeks in the crisper. i collect mine and then chop them up to add to mirepoix. or i saute them with sausage for pasta. they are really excellent!

added over 4 years ago

Another stock fiend over here. Also, Local Kitchen has an awesome idea for chard stems - pickle em! I think it's ingenious.

added over 4 years ago

I agree - we save all veggie scrapings, chicken carcasses and shrimp shells put them in the freezer and make stock. But what to do with the odd ones you mentioned besides the leeks? I like the cauliflower center sliced and sauteed with a few spices. The fennel fronds I save and use in the same manner as dill, good for topping a salad or veggie tart or a pot pie.

added over 4 years ago

I just referred back to this question and want to thank all of you because I didn't the first time. Was at the Farmer's Market today and got the most beautiful rainbow chard and now know what to do with the whole thing.