At Open Kitchen the backbone of our practice is experimenting with intercepted ingredients and making the most out of them to produce delicious food. We often receive produce in bulk, and our chefs are then tasked with extending their viability to minimise waste. There are many misconceptions about how to prepare fresh food that contribute to Greater Manchester's carbon footprint. We have started a series called 'Odds & Ends' to educate people on tips to avoid food waste as well as debunk common myths within cooking.
Some of our chef's insights on food preservation include:
Fermentation - Fermenting and pickling often extends produce life by months. Our chefs often make pickled red onions, red cabbage, slaw, kimchi, caramelised onions to garnish and give our dishes extra flavour. With the fruit we intercept we also make chutneys to go in porridges, yoghurt bowls, spreads for toast, sandwich fillings and much more.
Peels - People often peel their vegetables with the thought that it helps to remove dirt and impurities. However, A lot of peel is perfectly edible and harbour a lot of flavour and nutrients. Examples include using carrot and parsnip peels for crisps, using peels for vegetable stock, potato skin bonito flakes amongst many more. Use your peels! They're good for you and the environment!
Leaves & Stems - Leaves from cauliflower and beetroot are amongst one of the many items that are discarded the most when people cook. They bring a lot of flavour and texture to dishes and can even be used for blitzing into soups, sauces and pesto. The same can be said for chunky stems from broccoli and other bulky vegetables. They make great vessels for dips such as hummus and aioli and are extra tasty when roasted.