Reducing food waste is virtuous and delicious with 10 recipes

Russ Parsons
The California Cook
Don't toss those carrot tops and Parmesan rinds -- they can be delicious

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.

Here are 10 recipes from our California Cookbook recipe collection to get you started.

Are you a food geek? Follow me on Twitter @russ_parsons1

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