6 Things I learned about leftovers from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

I’m a huge fan of leftovers. My book I Quit Sugar: Simplicious is all about them – using them, eating them, creating a kitchen flow around them.

Leftover Vegetable Stock from Simplicious.
Leftover Vegetable Stock, recipe from Simplicious.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – bless him – is on the same page. But in a different book. You might have come across River Cottage – Love Your Leftovers which was published shortly after Simplicious. It’s a ripper of a tome. Hugh goes to town on leftovers. Bless him.

I’ve been pouring over the book since it landed on my desk last week. Here are six top things I learned from him:

1. Cool cooked food destined for leftovers asap. If practical, rinse in cold water (cooked veg) or stand the saucepan in a sink of cold water (stew, soup or sauce). You’ll preserve the flavour and colour better and it’s a good food hygiene habit, too.

2. Add the veggies late when making soups or stews and stop simmering when your vegetables are still slightly underdone. This will help to avoid mushiness later on when you reheat your leftovers.

3. Get the fish in the fridge ASAP. Fish deteriorates quickly at room temperature so pop it in the fridge as soon as you can after buying to avoid it going off.

4. Cool cooked rice rapidly to prevent food poisoning. As rice cools, especially at room temperature, the spores of harmful bacteria can germinate producing a toxin that causes food poisoning. Once this toxin is

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