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10 Ideas for Cooking With Scraps from Our App

April  5, 2016

Even though I feel like I should be considered for sainthood Saturday mornings, when I lug my bag of frozen compost to the farmers market, composting is admittedly not hard. It's actually very easy. You know this.

What isn't easy is not composting, by which I mean really using the scrappy bits: the stalks and stems and peels and bones that would otherwise get tossed into the compost with the eggshells.

But you've been making it look like child's play, finding so many ways to scrimp around over on the (Not)Recipes app:

Your shoots and tops and green bits go to good use:

Salsa verde! Pesto!

Rachel Nichols
Rachel Nichols
Carrot top pesto //
Leaves from one bunch carrots, stems removed, leaves rinsed
1⁄2 cup olive oil
1⁄2 cup finely chopped walnuts, toasted
3 cloves garlic, crushed & chopped
1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1⁄2 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients into container and pulse with immersion blender. Add more oil 1 T at a time if the mixture is dry or not coming together.
Farro with cream-braised radishes and almond salsa verde -- aka a good way to clean out the fridge before grocery shopping tomorrow.

Here's how: cube and braise radishes in cream. Meanwhile, cook farro and make salsa verde with all the leftover herbs and greens from the week. Go heavy with the capers and lemon, then add some slivered almonds. Mix everything together. #notcontest

And your stalks and stems get completely transformed:

Hummus! Soffritto! Pickles!

Alice Medrich
Alice Medrich
Taking Inspiration from @taraduggan chard stem hummus, planning to transform leaves and core from gorgeous cheddar cauliflower into hummus-like spread. Florets will become tabouli-like salad. Um, like, why not? #roottostalk #writingavoidance
lem monade
lem monade
Blanch rainbow chard stems while softening onion and garlic slices in olive oil, with chilli, rosemary, salt, and a bit of sage. Add some chickpeas and the chard stems to the pan – maybe some of the leaves or a little frozen spinach, too – cover with tomato purée and simmer until the flavours have come together and the sauce is slightly reduced.

Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, a little lemon juice might also be nice, and toss – diluted with some cooking water – with pasta, serve over polenta, couscous, rice, your favourite grain. Poaching an egg in the sauce for a version of shakshuka would be delicious. But so is eating it just as it is with feta crumbled on top and crusty bread on the side.

#notsaddesklunch #notcontest #nosetotailvegetables #balconylife
Refrigerator Kale Stem Pickles.
Chop up the stems, tuck them into a glass jar. Add 3 parts apple cider vinegar to 1 part maple syrup. Add salt, peppercorns, mustard seeds (if you have; I didn't), and Korean chili flakes if you want a kick. Give it a good stir (chopstick works great). Cover tightly, and let chill in fridge for 1 week. Yes, patience is a virtue here.
#nowaste #findersfeast #whatwouldjenniedo #useitup

You give everything a new life:

Peelings and trimmings become stock, bones become broth, chickpea water becomes meringues, a vanilla bean pod becomes flavored sugar!

Saved up onion skins, garlic skins, carrot peelings, a Parmesan rind and other random veggies - throw em in a big pot with lots of water. Simmer for a few hours and strain. Nothing better than homemade stock!
Flavia Scalzitti
Flavia Scalzitti
Last night's left over roast chicken bones became tonight's chicken stock. I added in the tougher ends of a bunch of celery (including the flavorful leaves), two onions (with the skin on), carrots, and peppercorns. Cover with cold water and simmer for 1.5-2 hours until the stock is a deep golden color. Strain out the bones and vegetables (I always save the carrots and pick any remaining meat off the bones to add to soup), let cool to room temperature, and then transfer to freezer-safe containers (leave headspace for expansion!), or refrigerate if using within 1-2 days. An essential Italian kitchen staple that I'm never without and is so easy to make (and it makes your kitchen smell amazing). Buon appetito!
Leftover ham bone cooked with navy beans and fresh tomatoes. No recipe required for this goodness!
Aquafaba meringues. Equal parts sugar and chickpea brine, whipped to a medium peak. Folded in raspberry jam and cocoa powder. #notcontest #vegan #notrecipe #dessert
de Porres Dinner Series
de Porres Dinner Series
Vanilla Sugar: whenever you use a vanilla bean, after throw the pod into a container of sugar. Cover. Waste not, want not.

What are the best scraps, in your opinion? (Fennel scraps! They make the best vegetable stock.) Tell us in the comments, or show us on (Not)Recipes.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • JaniceB
  • Connor Bower
    Connor Bower
Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.


JaniceB April 5, 2016
Save and freeze almost too ripe fruit. When you have a quart bagful, add to a saucepan and let it go over low heat until you have a fruit butter you can do a dozen things with. Amazing with peaches and stone fruits, apples, good.
Connor B. April 7, 2016
Do you ad anything to the fruit or just simmer as is?