If we think about cooking with scraps only as a means of reducing the huge amount of food wasted in our country, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, and think of using scraps as a chore—something we should do, but something that takes effort. In reality, though, scraps are simply food, an ingredient like any other. Just as you wouldn’t want your beets to languish in the fridge, you don’t want your beet greens to either.
Yes, we need to do a better job with food waste. But cooking with scraps doesn’t mean it has to be a big production every single time. We don’t always have to use an entire bunch of beet greens or half a loaf of stale bread in one fell swoop. Sometimes it’s okay to make thoughtful use of something small, too—a few tablespoons of pickle brine or, in today’s case, a couple of small fennel stalks, used as a lacy, green garnish for a summery beverage.
Beyondcelery’s Cucumber-Fennel Fizz is highly refreshing, and not the slightest bit cloying, as frozen drinks are sometimes wont to be. I loved the tanginess from the lime juice and apple cider vinegar and went with the option of club soda, so the sour edge wasn’t masked. If you like drinks on the sweeter side, follow her suggestions to top the drink with ginger ale or blend in some honeydew melon. Gin pairs perfectly with the vegetal flavors, but it isn’t necessary if you’re looking for an interesting non-alcoholic beverage.
However you choose to make it, as hardlikearmour declared, it truly is the perfect summer cooler.
- 1 English cucumber
- 1/4 ounce fresh lime juice
- 1/2 ounce unfiltered apple cider vinegar
- 4 ice cubes
- 1 inch fresh fennel
- 1 can club soda or ginger ale
- 2 short stalks fresh fennel for garnish
- 10 frozen blueberries
- 3 ounces gin (optional)
Know of a great recipe hiding in the Food52 archives that uses an overlooked kitchen scrap (anything from commonly discarded produce parts to stale bread to bones and more)? Tell me about it in the comments: I want to know how you're turning what would otherwise be trash into a dish to treasure!