At Food & Wine, we've been big fans of ugly food for a while now (check out our terrific #loveuglyfood campaign). Likewise, our hero in all things, Mario Batali, has been championing discarded produce as part of his restaurants' green campaign. (His plastic straws on request rule is brilliant.)
This Earth Day, Batali and his team, including his Director of Environmental Health Elizabeth Meltz, have created an outstanding resource for anyone who wants to help save the world by taking advantage of non-beautiful fruits and vegetables. Ugly Food: A Recipe Collection for Earth Day is a free (!!!) online mini cookbook with recipes from five of the star chefs and mixologists in Batali's restaurants around the country. And the recipes are awesome. Estelle Bossy, head mixologist at Del Posto in Manhattan, features wonky carrots in her tequila-spiked Carrot Fever cocktail, while Justine MacNeil, pastry chef at Del Posto, celebrates bruised pears in her Brown Butter Cake with Bruised Pears and Walnuts.
- Whole Foods Is Experimenting with Ugly Fruits and Vegetables
- British Food Retailer Asda is Getting on the Ugly Vegetable Bandwagon
- This Documentary Proves Why We Need to #LoveUglyFood
"All produce isn't perfect - some is misshapen, bruised, disfigured...or downright ugly," says Batali. "This Earth Day I beseech you to look beyond the cosmetically challenged produce and prevent unnecessary food waste by giving them a chance."