by MELISSA GORDON
We made it! Finally! Spring is upon us! It really is! I don’t even care if I’m about to end my fifth sentence in a row with an exclamation point — we deserve it!
And now we approach the season of gardens, the season of plants, the season of walks and neighbors and abundance. As you dream about your garden or your weekly trips to the farmers market, think beyond the recipe for a moment. Think veggie trimmings. Chef, author, and instructor Robin Asbell has an easy way to make stock with the trimmings, so I’ll let her do the talking:
“Whenever you cut up vegetables for a recipe, save onion skins, carrot peels, celery bottoms and tops, potato and sweet potato skins, garlic clove trimmings and skins, tomato trims, mushroom trims, zucchini, or other mild veggies,” says Asbell. “You can freeze them in zip-top bags until you have enough to make stock. Steer clear of strong veggies like cabbage, broccoli, peppers, fennel and kale, unless you plan to use the stock with those particular flavors. Adding a dry white wine will balance the sweetness of the veggies, but it is fine without, too.”
Veggie Trimming Stock
• 8 cups veggie trimmings
• 8 cups water
• 1 bay leaf
• 1 teaspoon black peppercorn
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3 dried mushrooms, optional
• 1/4 cup white wine, optional
Combine the veggies and water, bay leaf, peppercorns and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat immediately (boiling too long makes it bitter) and cover, to simmer very gently. Leave covered so the water will not boil away. Add wine, if desired.
Set a timer for 45 minutes.
At 45 minutes, strain the stock, and discard the veggies (they make great compost).
Taste the stock, add seasonings as desired.