According to Love Food Hate Waste, 7m tonnes of food is wasted by UK households every year; enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall 100 times over. Food waste has a considerable impact on global warming. When food rots it lets off methane, a greenhouse gas, which is more potent than carbon dioxide. It also has a detrimental effect on our bank balances, with Love Food Hate Waste predicting than an average family of four could save £70 per month by reducing their food waste. We sat down with our Lead Culinary Manager, Cesar Fernandez to discuss the positive impact of Root to Shoot Eating and how Miele appliances can help you perfectly cook every stalk and trimming, as well as prolonging the shelf life of your food.
Root to shoot eating is an extension of Nose to Tail Eating, which was spearheaded by the legendary Fergus Henderson of St. John whose book of the same name was published in 1999. It is the idea that you celebrate and use every part of produce to reduce waste and become more sustainable. This food philosophy challenges chefs and home cooks to think outside the box when creating dishes. Whether it be using the tops of carrots to make a pesto that would work well with rabbit or using full of flavour parsley roots in place of parsnips in the traditional Sunday Roast. Often, the ‘waste’ element of a vegetable, fruit or herb will have an exceptional depth of flavour and greater nutritional benefits.
Asparagus. Rich in vitamin C and known to help reduce bloating, the woody trimmings can be used to create a delicious soup that can be enjoyed hot or chilled.
Potato Skins. A great source of fibre and incredibly versatile. In a leek and potato soup, the skins provide a rich and intense flavour that you don’t get with just the potato. You can also elevate the humble jacket potato and make a jelly stock from water that has been infused with the skins.
Avocado. This incredibly popular fruit with 9.9m tags on Instagram contains more potassium than a banana but the stone is often thrown away. Using the Miele Gourmet Warming Drawer the stone can be dehydrated and then blitzed into a fine powder for use in gluten free flatbreads.
Lemon Rind. Aromatic and packing a punch of flavour, preserved unwaxwed lemon rind can be used to elevate dishes such as a classic Tuna Niçoise. Lemon rind also works well with roasted meats and vegetables.
Broccoli Stalks. Rich in calcium, iron and vitamin C, I like to slightly trim down the stalk and use in a coleslaw with cauliflower stems for a twist on the classic recipe. The stalks can also be added to stir fries and salads in the same way you would use the florets.
First and foremost, it is important to invest in a fridge freezer that will keep ingredients fresher for longer and reduce the need for throwing away perfectly good produce. Miele Fridge Freezers offer an effective fan to circulate the cool air, separate fridge and freezer air circuits for better control and one degree temperature accuracy. We also offer models which benefit from humidity controlled drawers to increase the longevity of food. Fruit and vegetables retain their freshness for up to five times longer and meat, fish and dairy up to three times longer.
Miele Ovens offer temperature controls that are always within one degree of accuracy to ensure produce is consistently cooked to perfection. It might surprise you to know that EU laws allow a leeway of 20 degrees for oven temperatures. If you have ever wondered why your food doesn’t brown or cook evenly, it is likely that your oven is not cooking at the temperature it is set to.
The Crisp function on our ovens is perfect for chervil and parsnip roots, as well as produce such as mushrooms, aubergines and courgettes, which create a lot of steam when cooking. Vents in the back of the oven pump out the moisture for nearly 0% humidity, which ensures roasted rather than soggy results.
For maximum flavour, texture, nutrients and colour you can’t beat a Miele Steam Oven. Nothing ever boils and it is an incredibly low maintenance way of cooking. It is the perfect method when celebrating fresh, seasonal produce. Miele’s steam technology also ensures that the temperature is always accurate to within one degree; essential when preparing delicate dishes.
It is great to say that there are now lots to choose from! One that I recently visited was Ox Barn in Thyme. The carefully curated menus are farm-based and plant-inspired with all the fruits, herbs and vegetables grown on site by a team of passionate gardeners. Sustainability underpins every part of the restaurant, from removing all single use plastic through to the farm’s careful soil preparation, no-dig beds and composting. The land is also home to rare-breed Welsh Black Mountain Sheep and honey bees. Suppliers such as Ben’s Fish, Hodmedod and Cutler & Bayliss are carefully chosen to ensure everyone shares the same values.
It has to be my asparagus soup, with soft herbs and crème fraiche. It is quck, easy to make and tastes delicious!
Makes 6-8 cups
4 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
½ tbsp mild olive oil
300ml hot vegetable stock
300g asparagus peelings and stalks
200g crème fraiche
25g chopped chervil
25g chopped flat parsley
Lemon zest and juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
To make the soup, place the sliced spring onions into a Solid Steam Container with the olive oil. Put the container into the Miele Steam Oven and steam at 100°C for 3 minutes.
Add the asparagus, lemon zest and vegetable stock to the container and steam for a further 6 minutes.
Remove the ingredients from the steam oven and blitz using a liquidiser until smooth. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Mix the chopped herbs, crème fraiche, lemon juice and seasoning together and add to the soup.