February 10, 2019

Cooking with Scraps by Lindsay-Jean Hard + Giveaway

When I first was given Cooking with Scraps: Turn Your Peels, Cores, Rinds, and Stems into Delicious Meals by Lindsay-Jean Hard, I’ll admit that I was skeptical. I like to think I’m good about not wasting too many food scraps. But did I want to start making banana bread with the peels? It turns out, YES! After making a couple of recipes and given this a thorough read through I can honestly say this is a wonderful book for even the most unsure. I promise, it really is about using those scraps we all find ourselves hold after a good vegetable chopping session. Things like beet greens, banana peels, apple cores and more are simply reused to flavorful results.

I’m super excited that Lindsay-Jean stopped by today to chat with us and giveaway a copy of her book!

TNC) This book is so inspired! What first interested you in work with food scraps?

LJH) Thank you! It started on some level when my husband and I were living in Japan. We joined a CSA for the first time, and it was really a period of discovery for me—leaning about new-to-me produce and how to cook it—and it also got me thinking more about where my food was coming from. Knowing that local farmers had grown all of the items in my box made me want to make sure I was honoring that time and effort by putting it all to good use.
Years later, when I was working at Food52.com, the editorial team was brainstorming new columns, and someone suggested one based on the “Garbage” chapter within Gabrielle Hamilton’s cookbook Prune. It struck a chord in me, and I all but insisted that I had to have that column—it was called, you guessed it, Cooking with Scraps. I would hunt through the recipe archives on Food52 for recipes making smart use of underutilized produce parts and other odds and ends, and feature those community members’ recipes (and a few of my own). I learned so much from fellow Food52-ers from that column that I really wanted to share that knowledge with a larger audience, and Cooking with Scraps, the cookbook, was born!
TNC) The banana peel cake is sooo interesting… whatever made you think to use the peels?
LJH) I don’t remember how I first learned that they are edible, but once I figured that out, it was enough for me to assume that they could be cooked, blended, and used like any other fruit purée in a baked good. My first thought was to use the peels in “banana” bread, but I didn’t already have a favorite banana bread recipe to use as a jumping off point, I did, however, know that my grandmother’s banana cake is perfection, so I decided to start there instead, and lo and behold, using banana skin purée in her recipe in place of bananas was an easy (and delicious) substitution.
TNC) Can you advise a cozy winter menu of recipes from the book?
LJH) Right now I’d love to warm up with a bowl of Brothy Beans with Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Rind with a Crispy Breadcrumb Fried Egg on top, and a Vanilla Pod Brandy Hot Toddy to sip on.
TNC) What food scrap do you think will surprise people the most as being flavorful and fun?
LJH) I think banana peels are definitely the most surprising, but second place might go to spent coffee grounds. They still hold a lot of flavor, more than enough to lend their roasty goodness to dishes savory and sweet. In the book, I used them to add texture and flavor to a nut butter, and on Food52, I use them in a French Silk Pie, both directly in the crust with chocolate cookie crumbs, and also to infuse flavor into the whipped cream topping.
TNC) What’s next for your food scrap recipes? There is so much more to do with this and the food sustainability movement!
LJH) Great question! So far I’ve had suggestions for follow up books—Scrappy Cocktails (self-explanatory) and Cooking with Scrappy (scrap-focused recipes for dogs, the person who suggested it has a dog named Scrappy). Both good options, but I’m still open to other ideas. 🙂
Thanks, Lindsay-Jean!
To enter to win a copy:
1) Leave a comment sharing what food scrap you’d like to try to cook with!
2) Contest runs from 2/10/19 at 11:11am through 2/19/19/ at 7:00am EST. Winner will be notified via email and has 48 hours to respond to claim the prize. Continental US residents only.