Tying Up Loose Ends
Ways for using up all the edible bits and pieces
Waste not, want not. That sentiment is a tenet for sourcing, cooking, and eating sustainably. Here, editor Christine Burns Rudalevige serves up ways to easily use up any special ingredient the recipes in this issue of Edible Maine may have brought into your kitchen.
DRIED HIBISCUS FLOWERS
Mix ½ cup dried hibiscus with 8 cups boiling water and steep for 30 minutes. Strain hibiscus from liquid and stir in ¼ cup honey and 3 tablespoons lime juice. Chill and serve over ice.
PINK MERINGUE BOATS
Grind 3 tablespoons hibiscus to a fine powder and whisk it with 3 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, and a pinch of salt. Beat 3 egg whites and ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar into soft peaks. With beaters running, add ⅔ cup sugar slowly. Beat until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Fold in hibiscus powder mixture. Divide meringue into 6 mounds on parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Make a well in the center of each mound. Bake in a 250° oven, rotating after 30 minutes, until outsides are dry but meringues are still pale, about 60 minutes. Turn oven off and cool meringues completely. Fill with summer berries and serve.
SAVORY YOGURT BREAKFAST BOWL
Scoop ½ cup Greek yogurt into a bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons each chopped dates, toasted nuts, and toasted oats; ¼ teaspoon lemon zest; and a good pinch each of Aleppo pepper and flaky sea salt. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over the top and serve.
ROASTED ALMOND, CHICKPEA, AND KALE CRUNCH
Toss 2 cups cooked chickpeas, 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and Aleppo pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon salt in a bowl. Spread mixture on baking sheet and bake 15 minutes in a 375° oven. Toss 1 cup torn Lacinato kale leaves with 1 cup chopped almonds, 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and Aleppo pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and ½ teaspoon salt. Spread over partially baked chickpeas, return sheet to oven, and bake until kale is crispy, 18–20 minutes. Stir in 2 teaspoons lemon zest and serve.
WHEAT PASTRY FLOUR
OLIVE OIL CRACKERS
Combine 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, 3 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and ½ teaspoon salt in a food processor and pulse until it forms a ball of dough. Knead dough for 1 minute and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll dough out on a floured surface to ⅛ inch thickness. Cut into 1- by 2-inch rectangles and transfer to parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Brush each rectangle with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt and finely chopped rosemary. Bake for 8 minutes in a 400° oven until lightly brown and crisp.
Whisk 1 cup wheat pastry flour, 3 slightly beaten eggs, and ½ teaspoon salt. Gradually add 1 cup milk and whisk until the mixture is like heavy cream. Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat and brush surface with melted butter. Add ¼ cup batter to pan and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Cook until the edges are lightly browned and the bottom is golden, then flip and cook until the other side is golden. Transfer crepe to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately filled with sweet or savory filling, or cool completely before layering crepes between pieces of parchment and wrapping them to refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
Bring 1 ⅛ cups dried elderberries, 2 tablespoons local honey, and 2 cups white wine vinegar to a simmer in a non-reactive pot over low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cool completely and pour into a jar, and store in a cool, dark place for up to 3 weeks. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and press on berries in strainer to extract as much juice as possible. Pour into bottles to store. Use as you would any flavored vinegar.
LEMON LAVENDAR POSSET
Gently heat 2 cups heavy cream and ½ cup honey over medium heat to scalding. Remove from heat, stir in 2 teaspoons dried lavender, and steep for 30 minutes. Strain lavender from sweetened cream and return cream to medium heat to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in 5 tablespoons lemon juice. Cool mixture for 5 minutes and pour into 8 small ramekins. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, until set, then serve.
Christine has lived in many places, including Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, England and France. But her professional world has consistently been grounded in just two: in journalism and in the kitchen. Throughout her 30-year writing career, she’s covered sports, politics, business and technology. But for the past 10 years after completing culinary school, she’s focused on food. Her words and recipes about eating locally and sustainably have appeared in publications from The Portland Press Herald to Fine Cooking. Her award-winning cookbook Green Plate Special (link is: was published in 2017. When she’s not laboring over a cutting board or a keyboard, she’s learning from her two semi-adult children, a community of food-minded friends, hundreds of productive Maine farmers, thousands of innovative chefs near and far, and her 30,000 honeybees.