Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Delicious ways with random bits

One of the things I love about our vegie box is the way that it makes me more creative in the way that I use vegies. I will shamefully admit that in the early days I used to give lots of the 'non-edible' bits (like silverbeet stems, carrot tops and beetroot leaves) to our chickens without stopping to wonder whether I could eat them myself. But after several years of getting regular boxes, I started to notice that lots of the lovely young produce still has leaves or stems attached, sometimes bits you never see when the vegies are sold in the supermarket. This made me wonder what other people did with their 'random bits' and after some googling and experimenting, I have developed a small (but expanding) repertoire of things to do. Some ideas (I have also included a few links with ideas from the web - there are plenty more out there!):

Baby beetroot leaves - if they're small, add them straight to salads (use like swiss chard), and they can also be sauteed or stir-fried.

Also see this page on how to use beetroot leaves.

Fennel leaves - a delicious addition to tomato-based pasta sauces (chop finely and add towards the end).

Check out this page on what to do with fennel leaves.

Silverbeet stems - (this also applies to rainbow chard) - delicious chopped very small, sauteed with onion and garlic and the silverbeet leaves, and added to a frittata or pizza.

Check out this recipe for braised silverbeet stalks.


Daikon leaves (sorry, no photo!) - I love daikon and often just chop it and eat it raw. I have also discovered you can use fresh leaves like rocket in salad (though they are milder in flavour).
See this page for ideas on how to use daikon leaves.

My latest discovery is carrot tops. They always look so lush and green and edible - why don't we usually eat them? In my seaches, I came across this wonderful webpage which has all sorts of great suggestions such as making them into ravioli filling or wilting them with bacon. Check it out!

Other things you might not have thought of...

Mother-in-law introduced me to the wonders of bok choy as a delicious salad vegie. She uses it two great ways:

- an entree in which you wrap delicious delights like slivers of lychee, small pieces of chilli and tiny bits of lemon up in large bok choy leaves as tasty asian-inspired parcels.
- a raw chopped vegie to sit over crispy fried noodles, topped with sauteed chicken or fish and a spicy coconut sauce.

These days I will often just slice it finely and add it to any kind of salad - it has a great combination of mild leafy greens and crunchy stems.

P.S. Speaking of using the bits of our vegies that we often just compost, those of you with kids, did anyone see the corn dolly made out of sweetcorn husks on Playschool last week?

Posted by Lien

1 comment:

  1. Hey Lien, love the post and I found myself nodding a lot! I also use chard and beetroot stems in stir-frys an soups. I use carrot tops, fennel tops, beet leaves, radish leaves in my green smoothies or in veggie soups. Fennel tops in pineapple based smoothies are amazing!
    Cheers Kristine