Root to Stem Cooking - CulinArt Group

Eat Well Blog

Root to Stem Cooking

 

April is Stop Food Waste Month and one important way to reduce waste is utilizing root to stem cooking techniques. This way of cooking utilizes every part of the fruits and vegetables found in a recipe-even the parts that are commonly discarded including the green tops of carrots or beets and the leaves of broccoli and cauliflower. Used in sauces, stocks, or stir frys, it is these components that are often the most nutritious; containing fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals.  Enjoy Spring’s bounty of produce while fighting food waste by incorporating the stems, stalks, skins, and tops of your next fruit and vegetable haul!

Beet Greens

Similar to Swiss chard and kale, beet greens pack a lot of flavor and nutrients. They are a great source of iron, calcium and magnesium. They taste mild, like beets, and have a deep, earthy flavor, like spinach. Just like carrot tops, beet greens need a good rinse or two to remove the dirt. When they’re small and tender, they are great eaten raw in salads. The big, heartier leaves make a great addition to stir-fries or taste great sautéed with olive oil.

Carrot Tops

Carrot tops are similar to parsley but with a slight carrot flavor. They are great eaten raw in pestos and salads. They can also be added to stocks to add flavor or sautéed with garlic and olive oil and eaten warm.

Look for the parts of the carrot tops that are tender and bright green. When carrots get bigger, their tops are woody and less palatable. The thin green sprigs are the sweetest and have the most flavor. When cooking with carrot tops, wash them very well before using them to ensure all dirt is removed.

Herb Stems

Fresh herbs add intense flavor to whatever you’re cooking but their stems are usually discarded. Dill, basil, parsley, cilantro and chervil have tender, juicy stems that are full of flavor. They can be added to pesto, salads, soups and other cooked dishes. Cilantro and parsley have particularly flavorful roots-clean them and add to soups and stews. Herbs like rosemary and thyme have woody stems, which are not great for eating but can add flavor to soups and stews. Rosemary branches can also be used as skewers to add more flavor to barbecued meats and vegetables.

Fennel Fronds

The furry tip of fennel, called the frond, has a zesty anise flavor. Chop lightly and toss in soups or salads or chop and stir into Greek yogurt with a squeeze of lemon and swirl of olive oil which can be used as a sauce for fish or poultry.

Broccoli stalks

The stalks and leaves of broccoli are as edible and nutritious as the crowns. Because broccoli stalks do not need to be cooked, they can be used raw in salads and slaws or cooked as part of a vegetable stir fry. The leaves can be drizzled with olive oil and salt and roasted in the oven to be made into chips.

Just Desserts

Everyone loves zucchini bread, carrot muffins, lemon poppy seed cake, apple sauce, and pumpkin pie. Before you toss produce that may be past its prime, consider cooking it into a baked breakfast pastry or puree it for future desserts. If you aren’t using it right away, store it in the freezer.

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  • April 1, 2020

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“What a wonderful dinner we had tonight for our international families. The food was delicious and well presented as well.”

“I just wanted to send a quick note acknowledging the wonderful food and service provided by our new vendor.  The food was delicious and the students consistently commented on how amazing everything was.  What a difference! In addition, the staff and management were so easy to deal with – very professional.  They were punctual, responsive and attentive to our needs.  Thank you again for making a positive change to the quality of life of our students.”

“The CulinArt team has been great to work with and has been super flexible. Having worked with other dining services at different institutions, having a dining team that is open to menu changes has been a great resource for our events. ”

“With all the prep work from Winterim ramping up and classes continuing as usual, it's a busy time to be a Forman teacher. Imagine my delight, tired as I was, when I delved into the upscale-restaurant-quality chicken parmesan our dining hall served last night. Forman is all about support, and providing our students with a dinner of that quality is just as important a measure of support as anything that happens in a classroom.”

“Many, and I do mean many, thanks for a great Parents Weekend.  I heard from so many happy parents and you all work very hard to make it happen.  In gratitude and kindness…”

“We appreciate the excellent service that is a hallmark of the Chadwick Culinart team. You all are such professionals - and you always deliver your service in such a pleasant manner! Thank you for everything you do to help make the Village events successful. We greatly appreciate your talents, efforts, and kindness.”

“I just wanted to give a huge compliment to the cook at Main Street. Today I had the Salmon Super Bowl and it was amazing!!!! Every day I go in there she always has something that looks too wonderful to pass up! Thank you for always having such a variety of food!”

“What a night! You and your team rocked it and made us look like stars. Great working with you and know we will have more chances to work together on future events.”

“Thank you for including me today in the food waste demonstration/[chef competition] and flattering me with the role of “judge.” I will proudly don the [Stop Food Waste Day] apron the next time I plan an “event” in our own kitchen. I think this is a very worthwhile cause and the statistics you read off are staggering. They, alone, can intimidate a home chef, let alone be the “driver’ for a professional one.”

“Just a note to let you know that you ROCK! You always pour yourself into [The] Webb [Schools] to make the dining experience the very best it can be. I’ve been hearing such positive things about the food quality this year – something I hope you feel really good about. And it is times like this with the Coronavirus that leaders truly emerge. You have been unbelievably accommodating in making last minute changes to how we serve, etc. and all else we do in the dining hall and I just want you to know how much I deeply appreciate your devotion to this special community. You are a key part of it – you model beautifully the very best of Webb. So thank you!!”

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