No one knows how to cook with maximum flavor and minimal waste quite like a chef. We challenged chef Charlie Knowles of Tender Greens in San Francisco to cook with a seasonal Imperfect box and he schooled us on everything related to delicious, no-waste cooking. Here are some tips we learned that you can apply in your kitchen
Save your fennel stalks
These green stalks and their feathery leaves make up most of the plant and are a real shame to throw out. Try adding yours to your next batch of vegetable stock. They have a wonderfully sweet, vegetal flavor!
Pickle your kale stems
They may look fibrous and unappetizing, but that firm texture becomes delicious once you chop your kale stems into coins and cover with your favorite pickle brine.
Use radish tops
They are healthy and have a bold, peppery taste. Serve them raw, as you would arugula, with your favorite dressing.
Make citrus salt
While checking out chef Charlie’s spice rack, he blew our mind with this zero-waste seasoning tip. The next time you’ve got a lot of citrus fruit around, zest a few tablespoons of it and pack it in a few cups of salt. The next day you’ll have an aromatic and versatile seasoning that’s amazing on anything from meat to roasted vegetables. Seriously, try making it tonight!
Sauté your radishes
If you’re not a fan of the pungent flavor of radishes, try sautéing them in oil over medium-high heat until they’re tender. Garnish with salt and fresh lemon juice. This technique sweetens them and makes a killer appetizer or side dish, especially if served alongside the radish greens.
Always massage your kale for salads
What this means is drizzling your kale with some oil, vinegar, and salt, and then squeezing the leaves firmly between your hands. This tenderizes your kale as well as seasons it and will make your final salad 100% better. You’ll know it’s working because your kale will change color from a lighter green to a much darker green!