I know that the title of this post may not immediately drive you wild. In fact, the idea of sad, limp vegetables, mold and food just generally past its prime will be enough to put most people off. However, with all the waste there is in the world I think it’s important to make people aware of how transformative cooking can be for a bunch of sad old vegetables.
The ingredients for this casserole were as follows (in parentheses is how long they had been sitting in our fridge):
1/2 Butternut Squash (2 weeks)
1/2 Cabbage (2 weeks)
1 cup Whipped Cream (4 days)
2 portions Potato, Tomato and Horseradish Salad (3 days)
1/2 Baguette (hard as a rock and at least 1 week old)
1 tin Chopped Tomatoes
1 Onion, sliced
4 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 package Root Vegetable Spice Mix (I never use spice mixes and this had been sitting around for a while, so I thought I may as well use it up as well)
The butternut squash was a bit sticky and slimy on the cut end, the cabbage was moldy on the cut ends and the potato salad hadn’t been very nice freshly made let alone after a few days in the fridge. But rather than throwing all this stuff away, I thought it was worth attempting to make them into something edible. Even if the attempt failed, at least I had the peace of mind that I had tried. As it turned out, the result was delicious, hearty and actually quite healthy. Obviously none of this stuff was going to make us sick and I cut all the questionable bits off, you’d want to be a bit more careful with meat or fish.
To add the whipped cream, I just tempered it with some of the stock until it was a stirable consistency and then added it in. After everything was cooked, I added the potato salad mix as the potatoes were already cooked and would’ve fallen apart if I added them earlier. Then it was into a pyrex dish, topped with breadcrumbs and in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
I guarantee that, had you tasted the finished product, you would not have believed it was made up of mold-ridden vegetables. All it takes is a bit of creativity and, more importantly, the confidence to just give it a try. You might find that what you create is better than you could have imagined and the warm fuzzy feeling you’ll get from knowing that you used something that would have otherwise gone to waste is the icing on the cake.
What’s the best thing you’ve ever made from fridge rejects?
Bon appetit (without the meat)!
Main image James Mattison via Flickr