3 Great Ideas on How to Cook with Leftover Veggies
Every Friday, Sofia Wood shares her best cooking ideas here on Make it last. This week is all about reducing the food waste and making use of what you’ve already got. Who knew leftovers could sound so appetizing?
One of the things I’m trying to work on is to shift my cooking so we don’t throw away so much food. Our fridge can fairly often look like it belongs to a hoarder, and I hate that our veggie drawer is often overfull. Things end up being thrown away because we just keep adding new stuff. We make an effort to buy nice, organic and local produce, and throwing it out is just so counterproductive. So this week, all the recipes are adaptations of what we already had in our fridge, nothing new, and most probably things you have in your fridge too!
First, I took a good bunch of all the veggies we had at home and roasted them on a huge tray. Using that as a base, I made three recipes that you can either make from left over roasted vegetables or go ahead and make from scratch. Hope you like them!
Roasted Vegetable Base
This recipe is totally adaptable, so use whatever veggies you have at home. I love adding whole tomatoes and chilies into the mix, and sometimes I go wild with the spices, so this is just to give you a general idea of what it can look like. Placing the tray directly on the oven floor is a good way to add some direct heat to the bottom of the pan. This gives the veggies more color, which is of coarse the most important thing when roasting vegetables.
Mixed vegetables of your own choice, such as:
500 g potatoes
300 g Jerusalem artichokes
A couple springs of thyme
Flaky sea salt
Crushed black pepper
A few tablespoons of olive, sunflower or rapeseed oil
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Cut the vegetables into fairly equal sized pieces so they’ll cook evenly. Transfer to a large baking tray. Crush a whole bulb of garlic and scatter over the vegetables. The garlic is important, as it adds a rich, sticky sweetness to the veggies when roasted. Generously sprinkle over sea salt, pepper, a pinch of chili flakes and a couple of sprigs of thyme.
Toss with the oil of your preference. Place the tray on the bottom of the oven floor, even if you have a fan-forced oven, as this will help the vegetables get a nice browning. Bake for 10-15 minutes, then toss and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables have a good amount of color, a crisp, caramelized surface and are cooked all the way through.
Roasted Vegetables and Honey Halloumi with Pistachios
This is such an easy dish, and the mix of the salty halloumi and sweet honey is just so delicious in combination with the vegetables.
Roasted vegetables, about 600 g
300 g halloumi
3-4 tbsp honey
A handful of pistachios
If you’re using leftover roasted vegetables, preheat the oven to 180°C and heat the veggies until they’re warm. Otherwise use the ones you just roasted.
Preheat a small dry pan over medium heat. Slice the halloumi and fry in the hot pan until they’re nicely charred. Plate the vegetables and halloumi and drizzle the honey over the cheese. Scatter over the nuts and serve.
Roast Vegetable Frittata with Basil Oil
Anything can go into a frittata, and it’s equally nice served warm or cold.
2 tbsp neutral oil
Roasted vegetables, about 300g
6 large eggs
2-3 tbsp water
A bunch of basil
3 tbsp olive oil
Flaky sea salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 150°C. Heat the oil in a medium pan and throw in the vegetables, reserving a few for later. Take a separate bowl and whisk eggs, water and a pinch of salt together. Pour the eggs over the vegetables and fry gently until the sides have started to set. Place the reserved vegetables on top of the egg mixture, making sure they aren’t coated in egg. Transfer the entire pan to the oven and bake until the frittata has set completely. Add the basil to a pestle and mortar with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Bash it up until it’s a course basil oil. Spoon basil oil over the frittata and serve in slices.
Roast Vegetable Soup with Rough Croutons
Dinner in less than 15 minutes! Although there’s no cream, and the soup is really very simple, the flavors and consistency is super rich in flavor and really filling.
Roast vegetables, about 700g
1 cube or umami stock or vegetable stock
A good chunk of nice and crusty day old bread
Flaky sea salt and pepper
Good quality olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Tear up rough chunks of bread and place it on a baking sheet. Drizzle it with a little olive oil, some salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly. Bake for 10 minutes or until crisp and golden.
Meanwhile, add the vegetables to a medium saucepan and pour in enough water to barely cover the vegetables. Crumble the stock cube over it and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Spoon out the vegetables and transfer them to a blender. Blitz, and slowly add the stock until the consistency is to your liking. Pour into bowls, drizzle over some olive oil, salt and pepper and a few chunks of croutons.
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