I mentioned recently how food waste has been weighing heavily on my mind. The fact that more than one-third of all food produced globally is wasted or spoiled, while there are people down the road from me living in food deserts who can’t afford to put a meal on the table is insane. INSANE. It’s been causing me to make changes. Small ones, because when I take on too much too quickly, the habits don’t stick. There are so many resources available for combating food waste, including a slew of online articles filled with tips and tricks. In addition to incorporating better habits into our household, I’ve been looking for ways to get creative with what I already have.
A quick Google search brought me to some great articles about how to reduce food waste, such as this one from Mashable. Some highlights:
- Buy less. There are only two of us, and since I don’t plan meals, it’s hard to know exactly how much we actually need. Maybe it’s time to revisit meal planning again? It’s a bit tricky in our situation, since I’m often so sick of cooking by the end of the day that I just want stick a frozen pizza in the oven for dinner. I often plan with the best of intentions, and it completely fails.
- Preserve. I’ve always canned homemade chicken stock and that’s about it. Recently I’ve been making shrubs from excess berries before they have a chance to go bad. It’s a great way to preserve them, and I’ll have some recipes to share soon. I’m also trying to get better about using our freezer properly. If it’s not frozen pizza, ice cream or tamales, I forget it exists until it’s 10 months old and covered with ice crystals.
- Write it down. This article suggests writing down everything I waste. That sounds like a painful exercise. However, guilt works wonders on me.
I had several tomatoes sitting on my counter and no plan for them. Goat feta in my refrigerator. Puff pastry in the freezer. Fresh herbs in the backyard. Voila, a tart is born. This would make a lovely appetizer, but I also think it would be perfect for breakfast on the weekend. In the spirit of not wasting food, please note: I grow all of these herbs in my garden, but don’t feel the need to run out and purchase all of them just to use a few tablespoons and discard the rest. You can omit one or two. You could toss on some dried herbs instead. Use whatever tomatoes you have. Many cheeses will work. If you have mozzarella or goat, try those instead.
Tell me, do you have any tips for preventing food waste? I am all ears!
- 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1 small shallot, sliced thin (approximately 3-4 tablespoons)
- ½ cup good quality feta, crumbled (goat cheese may be substituted)
- 1-2 vine tomatoes (heirlooms may be substituted), sliced thin
- 5 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste depending on saltiness of the cheese)
- Coarse ground black pepper to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh basil, sliced thin
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Fold the puff pastry sheet in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry to thin out the rectangle and shape it into a 14x5 inch tart pan. Chill for 10-15 minutes to firm up the dough.
- Sprinkle the shallots evenly into the bottom of the tart pan and top with half of the cheese.
- Spread slices of tomato into the pan, leaving some space for raw eggs either between slices or to the sides (see photos).
- Crack 1 egg into a small ramekin or liquid measuring cup. Gently pour/place it onto the tart between tomato slices. Repeat with the remaining 4 eggs.
- Top with the remaining cheese, followed by the thyme and oregano. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
- Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and then into the oven. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the whites have set. Top with fresh basil before serving.