Bestovers: An Introduction


Or quite literally.  The best leftovers.  Turning your leftovers into something new, giving them new life.  To me, this is one of the keys to a sustainable kitchen.  But 'sustainability' tends to scare people off.  What I'm just trying to say, is that when you think about it, isn't this how the world once was, before commercialism became a culture, and fast food became a tradition?  There was no waste.  Scraps were gold.  It'll take more than a blog, more than a few voices coaching.  But give it a try.  I bet you'd be surprised with what you could come up with from last nights dinner and a few pantry staples.  Just think of yourself as a competitor in Chopped's next episode to fuel your mind.   

Let's start off simply: salad.  Delicious, nutritious, and infinitely variable.  First thing's first, for a perfectly balanced salad, I generally always try to incorporate the following elements: Salty, Sweet and Acidic flavours, and Soft, Crunchy, Cooked, Raw/Fresh.  I personally love the contrast of all these elements in one mouthful.  If, on the other hand you are less inclined towards, say, acidic foods, just leave them out.  So with this as our starting block, let yourself get inspired.  Mix together a few of your favourite fresh greens, reheat last night's veggie dish, with a couple of extra fresh or sautéed ones, add a little crunch, and if you're anything like me, there must be cheese.  While you're at it, why not throw in an egg for good measure (and protein).  Fried, hard boiled, poached.  Go crazy.  Dressing or no dressing?  Well, if last night's leftovers carry enough flavour, I reckon a mere drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil'd do the trick.

Winter Bestovers Salad
nibs etc. original

Ingredients & Method:
Acidity: last night's leftovers = Red Cabbage
Salt & crunch: Lardons (chopped bacon of your choice - don't toss their fat!!)
Soft & cooked: Sautéed Mushrooms in Lardons fat, seasoned to taste
Salt & Soft: Egg added to the well in the centre of the above frichti.  Season to taste.
Fresh/Raw: Arugula bed on serving plate, onto which the hot ingredients are slid.
Sweet & Crunch & Cheese: Top with thinly sliced Pear for sweet, Chopped Walnut for crunch, and shaved Gruyère Cheese for cheese.

But this is just a very basic salad guide to kickstart your bestovers career.  Be inspired, and don't be afraid to try.