Skye Gyngell, is the acclaimed chef running the restaurant SPRING in Somerset House, London. I first ate her food at Petersham Nurseries many years ago and it was simply fantastic: fresh, seasonal and much of the produce grown on site.
Why am I writing about Ms Gyngell. Well she has done something extraordinary and introduced a bold new menu at Spring.
The SCRATCH menu creates dishes using organic scraps from their kitchen. Every day the menu is naturally different depending on what is ‘wasted’. Imagine the creative process the chefs are challenged with daily! It must be invigorating but more importantly highlights a bigger problem……
In Switzerland alone, 2 million tonnes of food is thrown away annually and 45% of this is from Swiss households. What can be done? It starts with you!
We need to learn to eat smarter, plan better and be a little more creative in the kitchen. Bones to make stock or vegetable ends to make soups, indeed almost inedible over ripe bananas can be transformed into a delicious banana bread.
So I took on the scrap challenge and here’s what happened!
On Sunday I made Boulangeré Potatoes
I had some slightly soft but not green potatoes and onions, lying at the bottom of the fridge. Rather than throwing them out, I made a lovely little French side dish. I have to say I had never made Boulangeré Potatoes (so called because locals would use the baker’s cooling ovens to bake the it) and I will certainly be making them again. They were soft but crispy on top, tasty, aromatic from the onion and provided the perfect accompaniment to my LUMA roasted belly of pork
- Peel the potatoes and slice thinly lengthways.
- Peel the onions and slice thinly.
- Build layers of 2 potatoes followed by 1 onion in your roasting tray and so on until you end up with a potato layer on top.
- Then cover them ¾ with a good stock. I used Aebi’s Gemuse, which is gluten and lactose free.
- Drizzle the top with a little olive oil and season.
- Bake for 50 mins in a 180C oven. It doesn’t matter if a few on top are super crispy!
On Monday I made Rhubarb and Ginger Syllabub
I was trialing a rhubarb tart by Amelia Freer and had some leftover rhubarb ends. Rhubarb is so expensive it seemed like a waste to discard them. I am not the biggest dessert fan but a little treat now and then works wonders. Anyone can make this simple recipe. Had I had some, I would have used COYO instead of lactose free cream but you can also choose from mascarpone or Greek yoghurt whatever your preference.
- Place 220g chopped up rhubarb ends, 8g grated ginger, 50 ml water and 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, white sugar or in my case jaggery (a raw cane sugar) in a saucepan,
- Bring to the boil and simmer until the rhubarb is soft. This will take ca. 10 minutes.
- Leave to cool.
- In the meantime, whip 250ml double cream and 1 tablespoon of icing sugar until it forms soft to stiff peaks. There must be some structure but do not over-whip or the cream cannot be used.
- Layer rhubarb alternately with cream in a glass jar in any order you like.
- Top with some grated dark chocolate and eat!
On Tuesday I made Apple, Mint and Fennel Soup
Lunch was fennel, apple, avocado, spring onion, pine nut and mint salad with lemon dressing. I am a sucker for lemons. However I digress. I was left with bits of apple and fennel fronds and ends. All perfectly good to eat but if you leave a nice green apple for a bit it turns brown and nasty. A soup I adore is fennel and pear, so inspired by this soup, I chopped the apple and fennel up a little bit and cooked it with some lovely Aebi stock, adding mint at the end. Blitzed it and had it with my salad. It was delicious.
- Chop the leftovers from 1 fennel and 1 green apple into smallish pieces.
- Bring to the boil in sufficient stock to cover, ca 250ml, then simmer until tender. This takes approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
- Blend with a few fresh mint leaves. Taste.
- You can add a little powdered fennel to bring out the flavour even more and season as you like. This will depend on your stock.
On Wednesday I made White Miso Roasted Cauliflower Florets
The sun was shining, so dinner was marinated bbq’d venison but I’d had enough salad over the last few days and wanted a warm side. I chose cauliflower steaks, but of course you have to cut them from the middle of the head, leaving the rest in a bit of a mess. New recipe time! White miso is my new favourite way to add flavour. It gives you that much sought after umami experience. You cannot pinpoint what you like about it but it enhances the taste. Try it.
- Preheat the oven to 225C.
- Combine 2 teaspoons of white miso with 1-2 teaspoons z’atar (a middle eastern spice found in most stores now)
- a good pinch salt and 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Coat the cauliflower leftovers in the dressing. I had about a third of a large head left but it was broken up into different sizes.
- Roast for 15 minutes turning half way through.
On Thursday I made Root Vegetable Hummus
The children had spirallised root vegetable spaghetti for lunch resulting in a few odds and ends. There was kohlrabi, carrot, beetroot, sweet potato and courgette. None of which I wanted to eat as they were, so I reached for the tin of chickpeas and made a nice little hummus. Even the girls like it! Maybe because it was pink!
- Empty and rinse the contents of a tin of chickpeas, place in a bowl with a good pinch of salt, whatever veggie scraps you have,
- 1/2 clove of garlic, a pinch of cumin and sumac, a few tablespoons of mild olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon.
- Blend and taste. If it needs more salt add, more oil to loosen add, more lemon juice add. I do not use tahini in mine but feel free to freestyle!
Friday, Saturday and Sunday were dedicated to dinner parties, eating out, children and recovering!
Noteworthy Events, Places and INFO
If you are in LONDON this weekend, try and get a POP UP spot at: wastED LONDON | ON THE ROOF AT SELFRIDGES | 24 FEB – 2 APRIL
An annual event which discusses the major issues around food. How food is interconnected with pollution, health, politics, production and society.
FORUM: EAT STOCKHOLM FOOD 2017
Apparently this RESTAURANT is fabulous. Silo Brighton is the UK’s first zero waste restaurant believing in using every element of food, packaging, furniture etc to its maximum.
Check out this MARKET in Vancouver, it’s first zero waste market encouraging shoppers to buy food wisely and bring their own containers.
A great site for more information on SWISS zero waste friendly spots:
Featured image by French Food in the US
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