Waste-Free Kitchen: Delicious Ways to Use Vegetable Tops and Stalks
Nothing is quite as satisfying as heading home from the farmers' market with a huge bag chock-full of vegetables. But most of us end up tossing a large amount of the actual produce, in the form of rejected leafy green tops or woody stalks. Avoid wasting these abundant (and delicious) parts by putting them to good use in salads, sauces, and more.
Tender green carrot tops are used in Baby Carrots with Herb Dressing and Olives as an earthy addition to the herbaceous sauce. They are also great thrown into all manner of pestos, blended into hummus, or tossed into salads.
Cilantro is a vibrant herb. Even cilantro stems pack a punch. Extra crunchy and with just as much flavor as the leaves, stems can be used in drinks like this Glowing Green Juice, diced and added into salsa or marinades, or stirred into cooking rice to infuse a fresh cilantro flavor.
People usually only eat broccoli stalks when they accidentally buy the frozen bag of "chopped broccoli" instead of the more commonly appreciated "florets." But this Shaved Broccoli Stalk Salad with Lime will change all negative perceptions with its contrasting tangy citrus flavor and salty cheese. Use broccoli stalks in vegetable broth, puree into soups, or thinly shave/matchstick for an addition to slaw.
Don't just stick with fennel's bulb, but branch out by trying this Shaved Fennel Salad with Orange, Green Olives, and Pistachios, which uses both the bulb and the fernlike fronds. Fennel fronds can be used as a colorful garnish, blended into pestos, or tossed into salads for a hint of licorice flavor.
While celery stalks are a common recipe ingredient, the leaves are usually tossed to the side. Let the tender tops shine by blending them into a bright green pesto for Grilled Trout with Roasted Butternut Squash, Pecans, and Celery Leaf Pesto. Celery leaves can also be blended into soups, added to salsa, or used in place of parsley in salads.
With a slightly bitter taste, not dissimilar to collards, beet greens are a fantastic addition to this Golden Beet, Greens, and Potato Torta. They can also be served as a side when sautéed, folded into omelets, or added into vegetable stir fry or curry.
More Ways to Avoid Food Waste: