Save your food scraps!
Did you know that the average person in the US wastes nearly 25% of the food they purchase? That’s like walking out of the grocery store with four bags of food and throwing one of them away before heading home.
Food waste is a serious issue, contributing to significant greenhouse gas emissions not to mention all the wasted water and energy used to produce that food. Plus, it’s simply bad etiquette! So how do we reduce food waste from our scraps?
Vegetable peels, ends, stems, skins, and washed roots are all used by chefs to create savory stocks to make risottos, sauces, and soup bases, among other things. So save your vegetable leftovers in containers in the fridge or freeze your leftovers until you have enough.
Today we’re going to show you how to whip up your own demi-glace sauce. Most root (carrots, parsnips), nightshade (eggplants, tomatoes), and leafy (kale) vegetables have a lot of umami packed into them, so they’re perfect to use before you compost them. By using these scraps instead of buying more ingredients for your dishes, you’re cutting down on the amount of food – and climate-costly resources – you use each year.
Recipe: Vegetarian Demi-Glace Sauce
Demi-glace or jus is a savory, thick sauce that can coat roasted vegetables, steaks, pasta, bread, mashed potatoes, or whatever you’d like. Traditionally, demi-glace sauces require a lot of space, time to reduce, and loads of meat to prepare. This vegetarian demi-glace has the ability to impart as much flavor (and possibly even more) as a traditional demi-glace because of the sheer amount of different umami compounds coming from different vegetable scraps with a fraction of the effort. With a little corn starch, pectin or xanthan gum, you can create the same texture of a nice gravy or slow-cooked sauce in an instant.
Best Leftovers for Glace:
Mushrooms, eggplants, broccoli, garlic, celery, cauliflower.
Ingredients to Use Sparingly:
(1 quart per 2 quarts others): Carrots, onions, parsnips, beets
Ingredients to Avoid:
• 4-5 quarts of veggie scraps (defrosted)
• 2 pieces of kombu (thick dried seaweed)
• 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
• 6-7 tablespoons of olive oil
• 2 ½ quarts of water (or until the veggies in the tray are covered)
• 1 teaspoon of pectin OR xanthan gum OR cornstarch*
• 1 pinch of salt.
* If using cornstarch, boil 1 cup of water and add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch before using.
• Heat oven to 300° F or 149° C
• Mix all the veggie scraps, tomato puree, olive oil, and kombu very well in a tall baking tray. Spread out the veggies as well as you can for even cooking.
• Place the baking tray into the oven for 40 – 60 minutes. Check and stir the scraps every 20 minutes.
• Once the scraps look heavily browned with some burn marks, but aren’t completely black, place water in the baking tray. Be careful and do not burn yourself.
• Roast the tray again for 30 – 40 minutes
• While the tray is roasting, mix your xanthan gum/pectin/corn starch and salt. Stir well. *If using cornstarch, mix the cornstarch slushie with salt. Stir well.
• Remove the tray and strain the sauce into a pot. Use a ladle, pour, or a sieve. Please don’t burn yourself!
• On medium heat, reduce the sauce for 20 minutes.
• Add your xanthan gum/pectin/cornstarch and salt mix into the sauce. Stir well.