An ode to leftovers: Why pastas, stews and, yes, meatloaf always taste better the next day

US News
Julia Turshen

Our cookbook of the week is Now & Again by bestselling author Julia Turshen. To try a recipe from the book, check out: celebration chicken with sweet potatoes and dates, beet salad with poppy seed and chive dressing, and applesauce cake with cream cheese and honey frosting.

“I’ve always preferred a meatloaf sandwich to just meatloaf,” Julia Turshen says with a laugh. “My family was not a family that ate dinner together regularly. Both of my parents were working parents. But on Saturday nights we usually had something simple all together. And I loved more than anything the sandwiches my father would make on Sunday from whatever was leftover.”

In her third cookbook, Now & Again (Chronicle Books, 2018), the bestselling author recasts leftovers as cause for celebration in and of themselves. Sometimes, reheating last night’s dinner is all you have the energy for. Or eating it cold, straight from the fridge is just the ticket. But to produce a meal that people will devour with relish, it takes the right mindset to rework the contents of your fridge.

Julia Turshen is the bestselling author of three cookbooks and founder of Equity at the Table, a database of women and non-binary people in the food industry.

Learning how to cook with leftovers can help reduce household food waste and save time – “you’re already halfway there!” – but as Turshen proves, it’s also an opportunity for creative reinvention.

“I’m always thinking about the almost cyclical thing that happens in the kitchen where one meal just keeps evolving and evolving,” she says. “It makes me so much more relaxed to know that I’ve got something that’s already prepared and I can add just a couple new twists and turns, and end up somewhere totally different.”

Presented by season, the more than 125 recipes and 20 menus in Now & Again provide inspiration for making shared meals – from no stress holiday dinners to cosy late Saturday lunches. Following each menu are “It’s Me Again” recipes for turning leftovers into something new.

Turshen’s beet salad with crunchy poppy seed and chive dressing becomes a magenta-tinted dip for spreading on toast or serving with crudités. And the remnants of a one-pan roasted chicken and sweet potato supper are transformed into a chicken salad so tasty you’ll want to make sure you throw in a few extra pieces of chicken.

“Having something leftover and then not thinking it can be anything besides itself is definitely a really limiting idea for so many home cooks,” she says. “Broadening our mindset about leftovers and thinking of them as a really wonderful invitation to something brand-new makes it a lot more exciting.”

In writing the year of menus showcased in the book, Turshen drew on the sense of connection that can be communicated through food: the emotions and memories sharing a meal can elicit. In focusing on menus rather than separate recipes, she also explores the interplay between dishes.

And while the concept of “entertaining” may be stress-inducing, …read more

Source:: Nationalpost

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