Recipes: Lucy Corry gets creative with food waste

Turn broccoli stalks and leafy bits into pesto that can be used as a dip, sauce or  spread for baguette ends.
Lucy Corry

Turn broccoli stalks and leafy bits into pesto that can be used as a dip, sauce or spread for baguette ends.

According to the United Nations, close to 1.3 trillion kilograms of food (enough to feed the 800 million people who don't have enough more than twice over) is wasted every year.

In the United States alone, nearly 50 per cent of all fruit and vegetables never make it to the market because they're deemed too ugly for sale.

While this appals me, I'm pleased that campaigns like Love Food Hate Waste are trying to make a difference. It's even more heartening that two waste­-based 2016 Visa Wellington On A Plate events, Ban The Bin and All Taste No Waste, have sold out.

Remember the "think global, act local" environmental campaigns of the 1990s? Now it's time to apply similar principles in your own home. If you want to make a difference to the world, start in your own kitchen with these recipes.

BROCCOLI STALK PESTO

Makes about 1 cup

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: nil

Supermarket broccoli is trimmed to within an inch of its life, but the stuff you get at vegetable markets usually has its trunk and associated leafy, stalky bits still attached. 

Don't consign these to the bin or compost heap –­ turn them into pesto that can be used as a dip, a sauce or a spread for the freezer bag of stale baguette ends that you've been saving for a crostini­-appropriate occasion.

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Stalk, stems and leaves from one head of broccoli

1 clove garlic, crushed to a paste with ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt

½ cup walnuts

¼ cup roughly chopped fresh parsley

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

3-­4 tablespoons New Zealand extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

Peel the outer skin from the broccoli stalk and discard. Chop the remaining stalk, stems and leaves into rough dice ­ there should be about a cupful.

Bring a small pot of water to the boil. Add the broccoli and blanch for 30 seconds, then drain and refresh under cold running water.

Drain well and put into a food processor, along with the garlic, walnuts and parsley.

Whiz until finely chopped, then add the lemon zest and juice. Keep the motor running and drizzle in the olive oil. Whiz until it forms a paste.

Taste for seasoning and sharpness, then scrape into a small bowl. Use immediately or store, tightly covered, in the fridge for three days.

 

POTATO SKIN CHIPS

Serves 2-­3 as a snack or side dish

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 15­-20 minutes

Remember when your mum said all the goodness of the potato was in the skin? Now you put her theory to the test with these two­-for-­one chips. The trick is to peel the potatoes thickly, then dry them well with a clean tea towel before using. They cook really fast, making them a good option if you have hungry small people to feed before adults.

Be warned though, that adults may feel hard done by if they get the potato middles instead of the crunchy skins. These are also good with the broccoli pesto mentioned above.

4­-5 large potatoes –­ Agria are good here

1­-2 tablespoons  olive oil

Flaky sea salt

Heat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Scrub the potatoes well, then peel thickly with a paring knife so you end up with long strips of skin with 3­-4 millimetres of flesh attached.

Dry thoroughly, then put in a bowl with the olive oil. Mix well and tip the skins onto a large oven tray. Sprinkle with flaky salt.

Bake for 15­-20 minutes, shaking the tray to turn the skins after 10 minutes, until the skins are golden and crunchy. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

 

AQUAFABA HOTCAKES

Makes 12 small hotcakes

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

The miraculous discovery that aquafaba –­ the cooking liquid from white beans and chickpeas ­– can be beaten into a fluffy white foam that mimics whisked egg whites has taken the food world by storm. The internet is jammed full with breathless testimonies from vegans and other egg deniers who can't believe their luck in finding such a simple substitute. I'm still not convinced about aquafaba meringues, but I can report that it works well in these breakfast­-worthy hotcakes.

½  cup aquafaba (1 can of chickpeas yields about 3⁄4 cup liquid)

2 tablespoons  caster sugar

¾ cup plain flour

1 teaspoon  cream of tartar

½  teaspoon  baking soda

¼-½ cup milk

Using electric beaters, whisk the aquafaba and sugar together until it forms a meringue-like foam. Sift over the dry ingredients and fold in, followed by the milk.

Set a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat and grease lightly with a little butter. Drop spoonfuls of the batter onto the greased pan. Cook until bubbles appear and pop on the surface, then gently flip over and cook the second side. Remove to a plate covered with a clean tea towel and cook the remaining mixture. Eat immediately, slathered with butter and jam.

For more of Lucy's recipes, visit kitchen­maid.blogspot.co.nz

 - Stuff

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