Full admission here: I can be super wasteful. I love to grocery shop and visit different farmers markets and so often my eyes are bigger than what I have space for in my fridge or, what I can actually cook before it spoils. Since moving in with Shep, I've tried to become way less wasteful. If I purchase or cook something new, I try to make sure I repurpose or preserve it in some way. As a girl that HATES leftovers, I've found the process of trying to waste less food a lot of fun! Surprisingly I've got a knack for figuring out how to liven up 3 day old meatloaf (who knew?!) and now I'm super passionate about empowering people to become less wasteful in the kitchen.
I document a lot of my cooking adventures on Instagram and I've noticed that I get a fair amount of messages asking me for recipes that repurpose leftovers or kitchen scraps in a delicious and innovative way. This got me thinking about preserving food. So many cultures try to address the issue of spoiling through different methods of preservation; canning, salting, smoking, curing, pickling...conserving food resources has always been imperative to survival.
The simple act of extending the shelf life of food helps to give us more time to decide what the hell we actually want to do with it before it goes bad/we have to throw it away/or waste money none of us have the luxury of giving up. This brings me to pickling.
I've always loved pickles. The briney saltiness just gives me lifeeeeeeeeee. Pickling vegetables has a long standing tradition in South East Asia (Kimchi), the Caribbean (Pikliz), Europe (Sauerkraut) and countless other cultures across the world. Pickling has the benefit of not only preserving food, but also of keeping the nutrients intact.
I love the following recipe because it requires nothing of you other than getting rid of everything in your fridge that is either about to go bad, or you have no immediate use for. On hand I had half of a napa cabbage, watermelon radish, dill, shallot, and jalapeño (literally left over from my cornbread and mezcal recipes!). You don't have to use any of these veggies or you can use all of them. Please feel free to use whatever you want and, as always, make this recipe your own!
Do you have any favorite pickle recipes? Which ways do you like to incorporate them in your recipes/meals?
Kitchen Scrap Pickles
The pickled vegetables will keep for about two months in the fridge. They are amazing on salads, vegetables, sandwiches and, my personal favorite, fish tacos!