Chefs' tips on using leftovers

Purchasing a copy of the  The OzHarvest Cookbook will help feed those in need.
Purchasing a copy of the The OzHarvest Cookbook will help feed those in need. Photo: Supplied

A new book from food-rescue group OzHarvest challenged Australia's leading chefs to find innovative ways to use up common kitchen scraps rather than sending them to landfill.

The OzHarvest cookbook has been released just in time for home cooks keen to use up Christmas leftovers. With over 120 recipes from 44 chefs including George Colombaris, Teage Ezard, Adam Liaw and Bill Granger, we've selected some from Maggie Beer, Poh Ling Yeow and Neil Perry that are best suited to this time of year.

For every copy of the book purchased 60 meals will be delivered to those in need. OzHarvest collects and redistributes excess food that would otherwise be discarded, to charities in Sydney, Newcastle, Adelaide and Brisbane.

The OzHarvest Cookbook is now on-sale for $59.95 from selected David Jones' stores throughout Australia or available online at

Poh Ling Yeow's 'Rescue' ice cream

I always make ice cream when I have leftover yolks from desserts that use only the whites. Alternatively, make this and pop the egg whites in a ziplock bag to freeze for an emergency pavlova. This is also a fantastic way to use up slightly worn-out fruit from a leftover barbecue or party fruit platter. All you need to muster up is 1 cup of fruit puree. If you don’t have an ice cream machine, line a loaf tin with baking paper and make a semifreddo instead. Just freeze in the tin and turn it out to slice.

250ml (1 cup) cream
250ml (1 cup) full-cream milk
4 egg yolks
200g caster sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
1 cup strawberry, mango, passionfruit or raspberry puree,chilled (run this through a sieve for a smooth ice cream)

Bring the cream and milk just to the boil in a saucepan, then remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla until pale and thick. Pour the hot cream into the egg mixture. Whisk briefly, then pour back into the same saucepan.

Whisk the custard gently over low–medium heat until it thickens slightly – it should not at any point bubble or boil as high heat will split the custard. Test the custard by dipping a wooden spoon into it: wipe a finger through the custard on the back of the spoon and it should take a moment to form drips from the line you made. If the custard runs down immediately, it’s too thin and you need to return to the heat and cook it a moment more.

Cool the custard, then refrigerate until completely chilled (overnight is best). Stir in the fruit puree, then pour into an ice cream machine and churn until just frozen.

Serves 6

Poh Ling Yeow's 'Rescue ice cream'.
Poh Ling Yeow's 'Rescue ice cream'. Photo: Alan Benson (supplied)

Maggie Beer's Waste-not (definitely want) frittata

300g leftover baked potatoes and pumpkin

a little olive oil


2 rosemary sprigs, chopped

2 tablespoons butter

1 leek or onion, sliced

5 free-range eggs

1 tablespoon grated parmesan

3 tablespoons (1/4 cup) chopped flat-leaf

parsley, plus extra to serve

100g ricotta (optional)

rocket or salad leaves, to serve


Preheat the oven to 240°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Slice the potatoes and pumpkin, put on the baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with rosemary. Roast for 8–10 minutes to warm the vegetables through, then remove but leave the oven on.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and a little more olive oil in a frying pan with an ovenproof handle. Add the leek or onion and fry gently until softened but not coloured. Remove from the pan and put with the roasted vegetables. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl and add the parmesan and parsley. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Heat the remaining butter in the frying pan. Add the vegetables and spread them out, then pour in the egg mixture – it should puff and frill around the edges. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the bottom is golden but the top still moist. Put the pan in the oven for 2 minutes to set the top.

Drop spoonfuls of ricotta over the top and return to the oven for about 1 minute to warm through. Loosen the bottom and edge of the frittata from the pan with a spatula, sprinkle with parsley and drizzle with a little olive oil. Serve with rocket or salad leaves.

Serves 4

Neil Perry's OzHarvest Chicken Salad

This is as easy as you like. Say you've bought a roast chook from your local shop (no stuffing) or roasted your own and there's some left after dinner... The next day you can have chicken sandwiches or this simple, but seriously tasty, salad. I often add cucumber and a few batons of spring onion to give it a kick along as well.


1 teaspoon chilli powder

2 small green chillies, finely sliced

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons tamarind water (see note below)

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons caster sugar

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 roast chicken, from last night

1 small red onion, finely sliced

1 tomato, finely sliced

1 small handful mint, Vietnamese mint

or coriander, roughly torn

1/2 mignonette lettuce, leaves torn

1 1/2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, crushed


To make the dressing, mix all the ingredients together in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Remove the chicken meat from the bones and roughly shred or slice it thickly across the grain. Put the chicken, onion, tomato and herbs in a bowl, drizzle with dressing and gently toss to combine. Put the lettuce on a serving plate and arrange the chicken salad on top. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve.

Serves 4

Note: Tamarind water can be made by mixing one part tamarind pulp or puree with two parts water. Leave for 15 minutes, then strain, discarding the solids.