Leftovers

No matter how much you love the dinner you’ve chosen to prepare for your family the day it’s sitting on your table, it can be the bane of your existence the next morning. Portions of different meals sitting in the fridge in glass containers may not be the most inspirational of dinnertime starters, but you know you can’t waste them by throwing them away. Luckily, you don’t have to. The time has come to create a plan for attacking leftovers… soon, you’ll be looking forward to the days when you have leftovers to use up with these quick and easy recipe ideas for leftovers.

1. Quiche

The basic recipe for a homemade quiche is simple: all you need is a pie crust, either an organic, store-bought crust or your favorite homemade version. Add to this 4 eggs and 3/4 cup of half and half. The rest is in the fridge!

The perfect culprit for a homemade quiche can come in many forms. Choose things that you don’t have much left of, like a small portion of leftover roasted vegetables, a bit of homemade pesto or the last of your favorite organic cheese can be blended with a few spices for a delicious quiche. Alongside a simple green salad, dinner is served!

2. Soup

The basic recipe for leftovers soup starts with aromatics — use whatever you have on hand: onion, garlic, carrot, celery, peppers… anything can be used to give your soup flavor. Next, add a base, which can be any broth you have — chicken, vegetable or beef — or even water. A can of tomatoes or tomato paste will add flavor. The rest can be found by foraging in the depths of the fridge.

The perfect culprit to toss into leftovers soup can be big or small. Start with the bones from last night’s stuffed organic roasted chicken or the shells from your delicious organic shrimp to flavor the broth. Choose the rest of your leftovers carefully: anything can make a delicious soup — leftover lentil curry, boiled potatoes or cooked rice — but be sure to bear in mind the spices that were used in each dish: herby roast chicken stock may clash with spiced masala!

3. Pasta

The basic recipe for leftover pasta couldn’t be more simple. Cook the pasta, retaining a half-cup of cooking water. Then the sky’s the limit!

The perfect culprit for making leftover pasta is anything that is already cooked through, like meat, chicken or fish. These ingredients can be tossed with the cooked pasta just to heat them through without cooking them any further and risking making them less texturally appealing. Leftover sauces from dishes like our oven-roasted brisket or our crisp duck breast with cherry port sauce make delicious embellishments for pasta. A bit of cheese or cream can help add to the sauce, and that pasta water you saved will thin it out to help it evenly coat the pasta. To make it even more special, consider topping the dish with grated cheese and baking under the broiler to create a cheesy leftover pasta gratin.

Image: armigeress