Taking the best parts of the best ingredients and turning them into something good to eat is, frankly, pretty easy. But doing the same with the scraps left behind is a lot more difficult.
Reducing the amount of food that is wasted is one of the key tenets of sustainability and lately it's one that's been getting a lot of attention.
Dan Barber recently turned his Blue Hill restaurant in Manhattan into a short-run pop-up called WastED, putting on a series of dinners cooked with ingredients that normally would have been discarded. Among the stars: kale ribs, beef tallow, skate cartilage, vegetable pulp and "ugly" vegetables.
This kind of kitchen economy is not only virtuous, but it's long been a hallmark of good, economical cooking.
While we may not all have a couple of hundred pounds of beef tallow hanging around our kitchens, you'd be surprised by what you can do with the scraps you probably do have — carrot and radish tops, kohlrabi and beet greens, spinach roots, broccoli stems and, one of my favorites, radish greens and pods.