The Plenty Project: Ultimate Recipes for a Thanksgiving Without Waste

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By Justin Chapple, Kay Chun Posted November 02, 2015

The F&W Test Kitchen's Justin Chapple and Kay Chun create an astonishing holiday menu, then turn the ingredient scraps—beet peels, bread crusts, radish greens, and more—into an ingenious array of delicious dishes. Here's how they did it. Share your no-waste holiday tips on Twitter and Instagram using #ThePlentyProject.

STARTERS

Food & Wine: Plenty Project

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1. Smoked Trout-Caraway Rilletes: Labneh is yogurt that’s been strained to remove all the whey, resulting in a thick, creamy fresh cheese. Here, it provides the base for a light and tangy smoked trout spread. Save the scraps to make tasty trout skin crisps.

2. Spicy Quick-Pickled Radishes: Pickling with dill, garlic and chiles tones down the radishes’ harshness while making them nicely herbal and aromatic. Save the radish tops to make the perfect pesto.

3. Chicken Liver Pâté with Green Peppercorns: This silky pâté balances richness with tart green peppercorns. It’s the ideal make-ahead Thanksgiving-day starter.

4. Escarole and Golden Beet Salad with Toasted HazelnutsEscarole is one of the best greens to use in holiday salads; it’s hardy and doesn’t wilt as soon as it’s dressed. Save the dark green outer escarole leaves for a Thai salad.

TURKEY AND SIDES

Food & Wine: Plenty Project

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1. Whole-Grain Stuffing with Mustard Greens, Mushrooms and Fontina: This stuffing is substantial enough to double as a vegetarian main dish (just substitute mushroom broth or water for the chicken stock). Save the bread crusts for a bacon-and-egg stir-fry the next morning.

2. Porchetta-Spiced Turkey with Pan Gravy: Porchetta, the fennel-scented, crackly skinned Roman pork roast, is the inspiration for this succulent turkey. Save the turkey carcass for bouillon cubes.

3. Sweet and Savory Cranberry Conserva: Made with tangy rice vinegar and brown sugar, this easy cranberry sauce can be kept for two weeks.

4. Caramelized Vegetables with Dijon Butter: Carrots, fennel and beets get a double dose of mustard butter: first, to bake in the flavor before roasting, and again at the very end, for a rich, pungent finish. Save the beet peels for caraway-roasted pork.

5. Sautéed Collard Greens with Pepperoni: Collards are often paired with bacon, but spicy pepperoni is a fun, tasty twist. Save the stems to braise them with cumin and chile.

6. Mashed Potatoes with Parmesan Cream: For the fluffiest mashed potatoes, be sure to put them through a ricer while still warm. Save the potato peels for a Spanish-style tortilla or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese puffs.

DESSERT

Food & Wine: Thanksgiving Desserts

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1. Apple-and-Pear Galette with Walnut Streusel: Free-form galettes are simpler to make than pies. Using unpeeled apples and pears adds texture and flavor while cutting down on time and ingredient waste. Save the apple and pear cores for autumn fruit-infused bourbon.

2. Grapefruit Cornmeal Cake: This cake is perfumed with grapefruit and topped with a poppy-seed glaze. If there are leftovers, serve wedges for breakfast. Save the grapefruit peels for an infused bourbon for making an autumn fruit old-fashioned.

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