5 Ways to Use up Your Vegetable Scraps

September 11, 2013

Tara Duggan's new book, Root to Stalk Cooking, shares ways to minimize kitchen waste by getting the most from our vegetables. Today, she's sharing five easy ways to use every part of your favorite vegetables.

Apple Peel Bourbon on Food52

Apple Peel Bourbon. When making an apple pie, collect all your cores and peels and place them in a large jar, then cover with bourbon (about a 750 millileter bottle will do) and add a cinnamon stick and a few cloves. Close the jar, then shake gently. Let rest on your counter until the apple flavor comes through, about one week. (Remove the spices after a few days so they don’t overpower it.)

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Roasted Artichoke Leaves on Food52

Roasted Artichoke Leaves. Reserve all the leaves when trimming artichokes down to the hearts for a pasta sauce or other recipe. Steam or blanch the leaves until the edible part is cooked, about 15 to 20 minutes, then roast them in a hot oven with olive oil and sea salt until golden. Serve with mayonnaise or melted butter.  

More: See our interview with Tara here.

Potatoes on Food52

Potato Skin Bacon Fat Chips: Toss potato peels with salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, and a pinch of brown sugar and coat with leftover melted bacon fat. Spread out on a parchment-lined pan and roast at 400 until bacon-fragrant, 15 to 18 minutes. 

Carrot Top Salsa Verde 

Carrot Top Salsa Verde Substitute carrot tops for parsley in a favorite salsa verde recipe (the Italian kind, with anchovies, herbs, and capers) and drizzle over roasted root vegetables.

Butternut Squash on Food52

Harissa-Roasted Squash Steaks. Select a long butternut squash with a smaller seed cavity (the bulbous part) and slice the neck crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices, leaving on the edible skin. Toss with olive oil and harissa paste and roast in a single layer at 425° F until the flesh is tender and browned and the skin is crispy, about 10 minutes per side.

Want more recipes from Tara? Enter to win a copy of her book here.

Photos by James Ransom

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Tara has written about food for the San Francisco Chronicle, where she is on staff, since 1999. She's also the author of "Root to Stalk Cooking" and other books.

1 Comment

Jeane A. February 3, 2019
Get locally political. Our area allows ALL food scraps (even bones and pizza boxes) to be put in with yard waste. It is then commercially composted, used by the city in landscaping, and resold locally. Community win-win. Plus visiting the facility is a great field trip!