Onion skins make a delightful soup broth. (File photo)

Liam’s Lowdown: Food is everywhere

Turn your garden scraps into tasty treats

I adore watching Kitchen Nightmares with Gordon Ramsay. Or at least, the beginning when he tries the restaurant’s food and 99 per cent of the time finds the dishes ghastly and dreadful.

Of course, since it’s TV it tends to be dramatic.

However, one thing that has always annoyed me about the show was the focus on the importance of freshness and having the best ingredients. In reality, anyone can make a good meal with good food. The real skill is creating vibrant dishes from scraps.

Last week, a bear went into my garden.

Although it caused no structural damage, the bear flattened my turnips, forcing me to harvest them. Turns out, the root vegetable didn’t fair well and looked similar to a shrunken mandrake from Harry Potter. Yet, its lovely green stems remained. It seemed like a waste to compost, so I took to Google.

Apparently, turnip stems are edible and being a fan of pickles, I thought I’d try canning them in a salty, dilly brine.

I think they taste alright? I’ll have to let you know when they are ready in two weeks.

In general, humans throw away way too much stuff. Items that are still perfectly good or even edible.

Other parts of fruits and vegetables that we usually throw away include cauliflower leaves, carrot tops, onion skins and even pumpkin leaves.

Roast cauliflower leaves with some olive oil, sea salt and a touch of pepper. Apparently carrot tops make a lovely pesto. Onion skins are the secret to making a good vegetable broth. And pumpkin leaves and tendrils are commonly eaten throughout Africa. Supposedly they are tasty cooked in a peanut sauce.

As the saying goes, one man’s compost is another man’s dinner.

Food is everywhere.

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