At the sleek yet cozy Bar Blanc Bistro in New York City’s West Village, I had a delicious charred octopus set over a roasted tomato sauce with slivers of grilled zucchini. The whole dish smelled wonderfully smoky—a treat in a city where it’s so hard to grill. There was also a perfect tomato salad in a pickled-shallot vinaigrette that was a step up from what I might do at home, but not overwrought: It tasted just like summer. But what I loved most was one of the more humble items chef Sebastiaan Zijp served that night. Along with the charcuterie platter came a bowl of pickles, including two-inch pieces of kale stems that hit the right balance between sweet and tangy. I love when scraps are transformed into a clever snack.

Some great pickle recipes from our Test Kitchen.

More delicious ways to use up scraps.