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Media Spotlight – Menu Innovator® – Root to Stalk

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Media Spotlight – A monthly review with the freshest culinary insight! All of our spotlights are inspired by Menu Innovator®. For more information on Menu Innovator®, email tlagana@culinarysystems.com.

Root to Stalk

As we purchase fresh vegetables in the market today, our favorite parts are shrink-wrapped and put on a shelf. But if you venture out of the market to many fine dining restaurants, you’ll find that the “other parts” of the vegetables enhance menus, adding unmatched flavor and texture. Some of the finest chefs realize that food waste is at an all time high, and are choosing to embrace the total vegetable, with no waste left over.

We’ve watched the shift in restaurant supply go from large food companies to local markets and sometimes even restaurant gardens. Suddenly, chefs are much more aware of vegetable waste and what happens to scraps. Even better, they are economically getting more out of their product!

Vegetable stock is the obvious way to use previously discarded product. However, carrot tops are now used to make great salsa verde. Broccoli stalks add texture to slaws and are shaved into veggie burgers. These are just a few ways to add crunch! Pickling is another exciting option for broccoli and chard stems or watermelon rinds – encouraging even the most selective or eaters to give them a try. Even beet stems make is on the menu, grilled, adding both a sweet and smoky flavor. Some chefs are taking these methods and creating unique small plates. Others, pair them with unique global flavored dipping sauces and jams.

Need some vegetable inspiration? Try Dan Barber’s Badger Flame Beets and pears with pine nuts, smoked farmer's cheese and cocoa nibs from Blue Hill NY or their Venison In Fall Leaves with sweet dumpling squash and cranberries. The whole animal is used in today’s “nose to tail” movement. Why not the whole vegetable in “root to stalk?” Of Course most important, what Mom always says, “Eat your vegetables!”

Eat Well!

Culinary Systems Inc

Windermare, Florida 34786

Email. tlagana@culinarysystems.com

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