3 of a Kind: Scraps
Sending something to the scrapheap used to mean dooming it to its demise, but restaurants across the country are now making the most of scraps, turning carrot tops, bread butts, corn silks and more into incredible dishes that are worth saving and savoring.
This locally focused salad chain, which already composts its food, dishes and utensils, was inspired to create the “wastED” salad for its New York shops after Blue Hill’s wastED restaurant pop-up last spring. The dish ($8.60), created with Blue Hill, contains perfectly good but oft-discarded ingredients like carrot ribbons, broccoli stalks and leaves, and bread butts. The whole thing is dressed in pesto vinaigrette with sunflower seeds and shaved Parmesan. If that isn’t reason enough to order one, a portion of proceeds from the salad — available through Sept. 28 — is donated to City Harvest.
When it comes to making corn soup at this Chattanooga restaurant — set in a former Coca-Cola bottling plant — Chef Erik Niel gets to the kernel (and husk and silks) of the matter. To minimize waste and maximize corn flavor, Niel uses as much of each ear as possible. “We use the corn to make a puree with a stock that was fortified with the corn cobs. The silk is candied, and the inner corn husk charred to make a charred corn oil,” he says. “It’s corn all the way around!” The dish is served with cucumbers and saffron custard.
A patty doesn’t make the party at this Texas restaurant, where Chef Marcus Paslay turns extra housemade hamburger buns into bread pudding, cubing the buttery leftover brioche, then baking it with eggs, cream, sugar, vanilla and peaches, then cooling the roasted result with house vanilla ice cream and caramel. To re-create the dish at home, toast the leftover buns to crisp them before heaping on your choice of toppings.