Feelings on Peelings
Waste not, want not. Take the time to evaluate your peelings, see if there might be an alternate use for this byproduct.
Not all peelings need to be rendered useless; be thinking flavor, added color and texture!
There comes a point when we as restaurateurs need to evaluate all aspects of every product used within our business. This holds an important value when many kitchens produce a plethora of menu items from scratch. Meaning many of our products start from the raw basics, a flat of tomatoes, a case of citrus or a bag of potatoes that will all be transformed and utilized in recipes that will make there way to your menu as components of a composed dish. Many of these products have peelings that will soon make there way to your trash cans.
Although many peelings are not palatable; winter squash, celery root & turnips to name a few. There are still many that deserve of a second thought; such as the fore-mentioned tomatoes, citrus fruits and potatoes. Tomato peelings can be used to add sweetness and color to a pureed sauce, potato skins can be fried and used as a textural element when served on mashed potatoes and citrus skin (zest) can be candied or turned into a simple syrup for use in desserts, sauces or cocktails/mocktails.
NOTE: Although It is important to thoroughly was your fruits and vegetables, it becomes extremely important to thoroughly wash your products when the peelings are being used for consumption.
Giving New Life to Peelings:
- Use tomato skins in sauces to add color and sweetness
- Try peeling potatoes with a box grater; shredded peeling can be used as hash potatoes for brunch, while the pealed portion can be used for your mashed potatoes.
- Fry potato peelings and add a heap on your mashed potatoes as a textural element. This will allow your guests to see first hand your steps taken to 100% utilization.
- Peelings from beets can be boiled in a brine solution, adding vibrant color to the brine
- Zest your citrus and use for candied zest, simple syrups, for sorbets and cocktails
- Fine chop carrot and parsnip peelings, par-dry in a food dehydrator and make a root vegetable gremolata