I go on cooking sprees where I make dinner several nights in a row, jar pickles, bake granola and fill up my fridge with produce and goodies. And then we go away for a weekend, or get busy, and that food languishes. After that kind of neglect, in the summer, I make fridge-clearing salads: greens from the garden (or wherever, but since our garden is shady and greens thrive there, in the summer we have an abundance) tossed with a vinaigrette and topped with various vegetable remnants, half-cans of beans and the like, finished with crumbled or grated nubs of cheese and handfuls of whatever nuts we have on hand, toasted of course.
The winter equivalent is fridge-clearing soup (or pasta, but for tonight’s purposes, it’s soup). A bouillon base or stock simmered with last night’s sauteed cabbage, half an onion, and garlic cloves (left from last week’s garlic crack). I threw in half a can of whole tomatoes and pureed it all with the immersion blender, then added some wobbly carrots from the back of the fridge, a half a head of cabbage, leftover sauteed kale, and a partial box of elbow macaroni. Bubble bubble, then finished it off in the bowl with Greek yogurt, parmesan, lots of s+p, and olive oil and balsamic (any dish that can’t take a solid dose of those two doesn’t get prepared in my kitchen).
I opened a bottle of red somewhere around the second cabbage addition (you know you’re Irish when there’s two cabbage applications), and I am full, warm, and happy. Yet somehow still have no fridge space. Oh well, worth it.