The Imperfect Digest

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How to Cook Like a Chef!

How to Cook Like a Chef!

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No one knows how to cook with maximum flavor and minimal waste quite like a chef. We challenged chef Charlie Knowles of Tender Greens in San Francisco to cook with a seasonal Imperfect box and he schooled us on everything related to delicious, no-waste cooking. Here are some tips that we learned that you can apply in your kitchen:

  • Save your fennel stalks! These green stalks and their feathery leaves make up most of the plant and are a real shame to throw out. Try adding yours to your next batch of vegetable stock. They have a wonderfully sweet, vegetal flavor!

  • Pickle your kale stems! They may look fibrous and unappetizing, but that firm texture becomes delicious once you chop it into coins and cover with your favorite pickle brine.

  • Use radish tops! They are healthy and have a bold, peppery taste. Serve them raw, as you would arugula, with your favorite dressing. 

  • Try making citrus salt! While checking out chef Charlie’s spice rack he blew our mind with this zero-waste seasoning tip.The next time you’ve got a lot of citrus fruit around, zest a few tablespoons of it and pack it in a few cups of salt. The next day you’ll have an aromatic and versatile seasoning that’s amazing on anything from meat to roasted vegetables. Seriously, try making it tonight!

  • Sauté your radishes! If you’re not a fan of the pungent flavor of radishes, try sautéing them in oil over medium high heat until they’re fork tender. Garnish with salt and fresh lemon juice. This technique sweetens them and makes a killer appetizer or side dish, especially if served alongside the radish greens.

  • Always massage your kale for salads! What this means is drizzling your kale with some oil, vinegar, and salt, and then squeezing the leaves firmly between your hands. This tenderizes your kale as well as seasons it and will make your final salad 100% better. You’ll know it’s working because your kale will change color from a lighter green to a much darker green!

 Sautéing radishes is a wonderful way to tame their bitter flavor. Photo by Colette Krey. 

Sautéing radishes is a wonderful way to tame their bitter flavor. Photo by Colette Krey. 

 Chef Charlie's final salad of seasonal greens, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, and  dates in a citrus vinaigrette. Photo by Colette Krey. 

Chef Charlie's final salad of seasonal greens, carrots, radishes, cucumbers, and  dates in a citrus vinaigrette. Photo by Colette Krey. 

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