Leftover Love

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What do you do with your leftovers?

When I was a kid, some nights my mother served a dish she called “round potatoes.” They were patties 4-5 inches wide, 3/4 inch thick, fried in a cast iron skillet. My brother and I loved them. It never occurred to us that we were eating leftovers, though now it’s clear these were recycled mashed potatoes.

Ah, leftovers. Culinary alchemy makes gold of them.

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Take, for example, the leftover chard that spent the night in its pan. One bunch of green chard, one bunch of red, and a head of romaine, cooked up in the Italian manner of erbe di compagna. Somehow we couldn’t eat it all at dinner last night. When I came down to breakfast this morning, there they were. And I thought, soup.

I have beautiful beans on hand, brand new navy beans from Gratiot County that grew and were harvested last fall. Talk about fresh. And I have an onion. I chopped and sauteed the onion in olive oil, added a cup and half (or so) of beans, raised the heat and let them commingle for a while in the pan. When the skins on the beans began to show some wrinkle, I added water and a little bouillon (broth would have served), brought them to a boil and added the leftover chard. Also, after 30 minutes or so, a half cup of tomato puree.

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In the fullness of time (a couple hours) this thick, savory soup was ready to eat.

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My father-in-law used to say, Non buttiamo via niente. We don’t throw anything away. Isn’t this a principle of good cooking? What do you do with your leftovers?

2 thoughts on “Leftover Love

  1. Pingback: How to Satisfy Your Green Tooth | rick bailey

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