3 Great Recipes To Transform Your Leftovers
3 Great Recipes To Transform Your Leftovers

3 Great Recipes To Transform Your Leftovers

Stylist Kitty Coles has worked with some of the biggest names in food. Her own first cookbook, Make More With Less, shows how you can make your weekly shop go further by taking core ingredients and transforming them into flavour-packed, simple dishes that level-up leftovers. Here’s a bit more from Kitty, plus three recipes to try at home…
By Heather Steele

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This book proves you don’t need fancy ingredients, loads of time or a cupboard full of special equipment to make delicious food. I really believe that a Tupperware of yesterday’s potatoes can make something even better today, and that roasting a chicken isn’t just the best way to cook chicken because it’s delicious, but because it unlocks a week’s worth of other, equally good meals. My sister’s boyfriend hates leftovers and that shocked me. It sparked a huge debate at the table, with each of us declaring our favourites (“But what about chicken stock?” “Bread and butter pudding!” “Christmas turkey sandwiches?”). It’s my opinion that the best things come from leftovers.

I grew up around food (my parents had a restaurant for 25 years) and most of my friends work in food. So it’s easy to worry that everything has to be out there, innovative, new and amazing. I have spent the last ten years making cookbooks, and in that time, I’ve followed and written a lot of recipes. I’ve cooked everything from boiled calves’ feet to fresh pasta, and each recipe has been a learning curve. What I’ve learnt most is that people want to understand the basics first – the starting blocks, those few good methods or ingredients that, once you know them, will set you free in your own kitchen. Maybe it’s because I do so much cooking that I’ve come to appreciate recipes that have few ingredients and steps – recipes that don’t require me to trek over to that one shop in East London to find that one type of flour that you can only buy there.

I’m taking a step back from the more obscure ingredients. I want to show you that you can make great food with ingredients you can find at your local small supermarket, or even with what’s already in your house. Those onions you’ve got lying around can make the most delicious pasta in 15 minutes and that the sad-looking bunch of herbs in your refrigerator drawer can make one of my favourite lunches in under 20 minutes.

Inspired? Here are three of Kitty’s recipes to try at home…

Charred Tomato Broth

This is the fresher, brothy sister to pasta and tomato sauce, and it never ever gets old. Charring the tomatoes gives an intense depth to the soup. No one who eats it believes it is this simple to make.

400g of cherry tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of tomato purée
1 litre of water or vegetable stock
25g of basil, leaves picked, plus extra to serve
Squeeze of lemon juice
150g of fregola, rice, orzo, small pasta shapes or tinned beans
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
To Serve:
1 knob of butter or extra virgin olive oil
Chilli flakes
Grated parmesan
Step 1

Heat a dry, heavy-based frying pan (skillet) over a high heat. Once hot, add the tomatoes and char them all over for 6-10 minutes until blistered and softened (apologies for your smoky kitchen at this point).

Step 2

A couple of minutes before the end, add the whole garlic cloves and char for 2 minutes, making sure not to burn them as they’ll taste bitter. Transfer the charred tomatoes and garlic to a large saucepan over a medium-high heat and add the olive oil and tomato purée. Fry for 2 minutes until the tomato purée has turned a darker red. Add the water or vegetable stock and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes (or up to 1 hour if you have time).

Step 3

Taste, then add the basil, lemon juice, and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Once you’re happy with the flavour, add the fregola, rice, pasta or beans, and boil for 6-7 minutes until tender.

Step 4

Serve with more basil, a knob of butter or a good glug of your best extra virgin olive oil, chilli flakes, parmesan and a little more seasoning if it needs it.

Double Cheese & Green Chilli Tart With Coriander & Lime Salsa

If you’re making something that’s rich with cheese or cream, it’s important to have something to balance out the flavour. Here, I’ve used pickled chillies to cut through the cheese. If you don’t like spice, I think you’ll like this, as it’s more about the tangy flavour. If you prefer not to add them to the base, then I recommend serving the finished tart with some pickles instead. You could also stir some pickled celery, radishes or cucumbers into the salsa. 

375g sheet of puff pastry
2 eggs, beaten
200g of crème fraîche, ricotta or cream cheese
2 small or 1 large garlic clove, grated
120g of cheddar, manchego, parmesan, comté or gruyère, grated
1 ball of mozzarella, torn
4 pickled green chillies or 2 tbsp of pickled jalapeños, thinly sliced
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the coriander salsa:
1 small onion or shallot, ½ small red onion or bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced
Zest & juice of 1 lime
1 bunch of coriander, leaves picked
1 small handful of chives, finely chopped
1 green chilli, thinly sliced
Step 1

Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan.

Step 2

Unroll the pastry and place it on a baking sheet on the baking parchment it came with.

Step 3

Lightly score a 2 cm (¾ inch) border around the pastry (making sure you don’t go all the way through the pastry) then prick a few marks into the middle with a fork. Brush the border with a little of the beaten eggs, reserving the rest to add to the filling.

Step 4

Bake the pastry base in the oven for 15 minutes until lightly golden, then remove from the oven and set aside. If the centre has puffed up a bit, just pat it down with the back of a fork or spoon.

Step 5

In a bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients and season well.

Step 6

Spread the mixture onto the pastry base inside the border, then bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Step 7

Meanwhile, make the coriander salsa. Combine the onion and lime zest and juice in a bowl with a pinch of salt and massage them with your hands so the onion is coated in the lime juice. Just before serving, toss the herbs and chilli into the limey onions, then pile on top or serve alongside the tart.

Tonnato Salad

I love tuna (specifically tinned tuna) and I regularly crave some sort of tuna salad, but sometimes I just want more – more of a meal, more tuna flavour, more crunchiness. So, here is my non-traditional take on a tonnato (the Italian dish of thinly sliced pork with a tuna sauce). In this version, the tonnato sauce is tossed with warm boiled potatoes and crunchy vegetables. Feel free to add any type of salad and crunchy vegetables that are in your refrigerator, such as broccoli, peas or broad beans.

2 or 4 as a side
500g of new or Charlotte potatoes, large ones halved
100g of fine green beans, trimmed
1 handful of soft herbs, finely chopped, e.g. dill & parsley
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1 cucumber, peeled & chopped
1 little gem or romaine lettuce
1 red onion, thinly sliced
For the tonnato sauce:
1 x 145g tin of tuna in olive oil, drained
2 tbsp of plain yoghurt or mayonnaise
1 tbsp of capers, drained
Zest & juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp of good-quality extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Step 1

Start by making the tonnato sauce. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor with some salt and pepper and a splash of water, and blend until smooth. It should have the consistency of a thick dressing – if not, add more water as needed.

Step 2

Add the potatoes to a saucepan of lightly salted cold water, then bring to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes until soft. After 6 minutes, add the green beans and cook with the potatoes for the remaining 4 minutes.

Step 3

Drain the potatoes and green beans, then drain them under cold water to cool slightly.

Step 4

Add the herbs, torn lettuce and red onion to the potatoes with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Toss together.

Step 5

Spoon the sauce onto a platter, pile on the cucumber and finish with the potatoes.

Make More With Less by Kitty Coles (Hardie Grant, £22) is out now.

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