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Veggies that are a little past prime...


Stephanie Brim
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I cannot throw things away. I should allow myself to, but when it comes to things that cost a good chunk of the week's grocery bill, I just can't do it. So, as I write this, I have 6 tomatoes and 4 assorted bell peppers in the oven roasting right now. They smell heavenly and I can't wait to do something with them.

The problem is...what do I do?

I think these are going into a sauce once I de-seed the tomatoes and de-peel everything. Not sure about spices yet, though. Maybe it would make a good pizza sauce with a few extra tomatoes?

What have you done when you really can't bear to throw something out?

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Do you have a freezer in your fridge? Mine is quite large, about 2.5 cu ft. So, if I have a bit of veg which "needs using" and no immediate need... I chop into 1/4" dice, and freeze in a heavyweight freezer zip-bag. Then, when I want 2 tbsp of chopped peppers for an omlette or something, it's ready & waiting for me. The same method is applied to tomatoes, onions, herbs, leeks, kale, etc., although rarely tender greens. Making soup doesn't get much easier!

Karen Dar Woon

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. . .

What have you done when you really can't bear to throw something out?

When it comes to tomatoes or peppers I do what you do - roast them but then I freeze them in zipper bags pressed flat so I can break off a chunk or more to add some interest to a sandwich, a pizza, a soup - whatever. If they are frozen flat then they will defrost very quickly. For the past couple of weeks I have been using up some of this lode by doing a "cheater's pizza". I take a pita bread, brush it with a flavourful oil, sprinkle on whatever cheese needs using up and top with roasted vegetables. A few minutes in a hot oven and I have a tasty lunch (or breakfast!). I also freeze caramalized onions in the same manner.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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For the past couple of weeks I have been using up some of this lode by doing a "cheater's pizza".

I like the "cheater's pizza" idea!

as for me -- today, i actually had minimal amounts leftover of those same veggies -- I roasted them in the oven to serve along with a butterflied chicken breast which I stuffed with parsley&lemon, drizzled w/olive oil, and seasoned w/salt and pepper.

kind of mix and match, yes, but it was satisfying never the less!

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I fridged them and they're awaiting their fate. Probably going to have to wait until tonight, though, as both kids are awake and bed time is 3 hours away. :)

Cheater's pizza is a really good idea. I used to do that with broccoli, leftover grilled chicken, thinly sliced onion, and leftover white sauce. Add some cheap shredded moz and a pinch or two of the good parmigiano and you have yourself a pretty good white pizza.

Another one that just popped into my head for tomatoes is taco sauce. I don't know why I didn't think of it for these...probably because I have no chiles in the house at the moment.

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Toss them into pasta with roasted or sauteed garlic, fresh basil, and extra virgin oil.

This is an outstanding recipe you might want to check out - I've made it many times:

PASTA WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES AND GARLIC BROTH

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/101816

There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.
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For these, pizza sauce it is. They're going in the mini-processor, then onto the stove, sometime tonight. Then, as soon as I get the stock out and into its freezer bags, into the ice cube try they'll go. Two or three ice cubes, thawed, is enough for one pizza for me. :)

Now to figure out what to do with all these potatoes... :wacko:

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I make "garbage soup" with whatever tired veggies are in the bin. Saute some onion in olive oil, add whatever veggies are one step from the disposal... and any left-over meat chopped into small pieces, water, some boullion cubes, a bay leaf, s&p, and a can of tomatoes, chopped. For seasoning I like a teaspoon or 2 of Italian. Takes about 45 minutes to an hour to cook. I also sometimes puree it and add a little milk after its cooked. To serve, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil. :biggrin:

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I have bags of bones and bags of "past their sell-by date" vegetables that occupy one shelf in the freezer. When that shelf is full, I thaw and crack the bones, roast them, cover with the veg, roast again, and make stock. I've got my stock production and use almost at equilibrium. It's a wonderful thing.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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Our restaurant bought some pigs for slaughter from a local farmer. He's raising them for us but we still foot the bill on feed, obviously. So, to cut down on costs, all our veggie scraps and any veggies that might be going bad get taken to them. That is of course if we can't find anything else to do with them.

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