Root-to-stem cooking

Watermelon rinds.Save watermelon rinds for pickling. Photo: Sarah GilbertA New York Times article from earlier this year called “That’s Not Trash, That’s Dinner” did a great job of tracking the super-green practice of cooking with oft-overlooked parts of typical fruits and vegetables. The trend, which obviously takes its name from nose-to-tail butchery (another trend that’s going strong, but isn’t exactly new unless you count the fact that people are applying the philosophy to fish), applies to everything from the ultra-utilitarian beet, carrot, and turnip tops, to chive flowers and cilantro roots. It also goes hand-in-hand with much of the preservation techniques that are making a comeback these days, as well. Case in point: pickled watermelon rind. My favorite example? The odd-sounding but enchantingly delicate peach leaf ice cream.