Leftovers can seem pretty frumpy, but if that means you overlook them, or even worse, toss them out, then that’s a damn shame.
Some leftovers actually improve with time. Curries and tajines are always better on their second day. Chiles too. There’s a deepening of flavour that happens with slow cooked veggies or meat. It’s kind of miraculous, how the dish gets better when you do nothing to it. Just leave it to its own devices, be patient and enjoy what happens.
Your modest carbs though, can be less appealing the day after. Bec’s corker of a pearl barley mushroom risotto that she made on Saturday night didn’t look nearly as tempting by Monday lunchtime. Thing is though, it didn’t take more than five minutes to transform this grey frumpiness into something as handsome as it was tasty.
Here’s how I gave Bec’s risotto a makeover, in the time it took the kettle to boil. Three minutes covered in the microwave, during which I picked some homegrown herbage from the garden. Fresh thyme and parsley and the bright yellow flowers of the mizuna, which is well shot. A generous squeeze of lemon juice, a restrained drizzle of olive oil and cracked pepper and we’re away.
So don’t chuck out your frumpier leftovers. Zap them or fry them up, mix in some herbs and leaves, squeeze on some lemon juice or slosh in some Tabasco. Sprinkle on some cheese. Like the old song says, Lunch is better the second time around.