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 our clients are saying

“I’m the GM for Branson [Ultrasonics] and based in the Brookfield office.  This is the first week that the café has been up and running in our new headquarters and just want to acknowledge the great job Adam Schnittert and the CulinArt staff onsite have done.  Our employees’ feedback thus far has been very positive.  The expanded options and menu quality have been very well received.  Just want to send you a quick note of thanks.”

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

“Thank You! Chef Budd [and team], you overcame a new online ordering system (and hundreds of labels daily!), provided creative and healthy menus, continued to connect with local farmers to incorporate locally sourced ingredients, and worked tirelessly to serve the school community on three campuses.  While it feels like you are all a little like the Wizard of Oz right now, working behind a curtain in a kitchen far away, we sense your smiles and your passion to deliver the best possible service during these trying times. We are all so grateful!”

“We want to take a moment to celebrate all the employees who worked on the front lines during unprecedented times. Your efforts and dedication to going above and beyond are noticed and appreciated. Thank you for being the heart and soul of CulinArt Group. We couldn’t do this without you. Chef Jay and Chef Paul have been so awesome in the Hubbell Café.  There has been significant change, but they take it in stride and keep the delicious food coming.  We truly appreciate them!”

“I wanted to let you know that for this entire school year I have been so well fed! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE all the diversity of salad choices we have each day and the amazing entrees.  My favorites are the carnitas, chili, curry, and cajun chicken days.  I am so grateful for all the care that goes into the food because I know I do not eat enough vegetables or balanced meals without you and your crew's work.  Thank you so much!  You take such great care of us!!”

“I ALWAYS feel spoiled by the meal offerings at CSW (The Cambridge School of Weston) and am entirely grateful for it. As I eat today's delicious and lavish lunch (and think about yesterday's as well), I can't tell you how much I feel so well cared for here, both with the food and by the dining hall staff. CSW cares for us in so many ways, both big and small.”

“Even though we see challenges every day, each one of you rises to the occasion and makes it seem so easy. I cannot express how impressive it is to see you all work in such a fashion. You are true professionals.”

“This has been a year of unprecedented uncertainty, but through it all, Denee, chef Darby, Samantha, and the whole CulinArt team, provided the best dining experience the school has had in my thirteen year tenure.  It was an absolute pleasure to work with them, and I can't wait for next year when the craziness of COVID brings everyone back into the dining hall for meals. We look forward to working with Denee, Chef Darby, Samantha, and the rest of the CulinArt team again next year.”

“I have really appreciated the wonderful cafeteria staff we have via Culinart and the thoughtful meals they provide our kids. They're truly one in a million. I have also really appreciated the dedication Parker and CulinArt share to sustainability and green practices on campus. I am so thankful that Parker has chosen CulinArt, a company that shares Parker values, and that they took the time and effort at such a hard time to make sure that Parker is always on the forefront of green practices and safety - never compromising.”

“We were totally impressed by the presentation and care in which these new team members were brought into the CulinArt family. So happy we made the decision to choose CulinArt Group.”

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