Spring Cleaning

Second-Day Meal Of Leftovers by Marcus Samuelsson

Spring is here, and with so much delicious produce coming into season, it's time to clean out your refrigerator and restock.

Instead of throwing out old produce, or odds and ends of cheese, make use of your leftovers and kitchen odds and ends. Have some fun with these, nothing is too strict, and you can only benefit by giving your leftover food a second life.

* Apples - Because apples last so well in the fridge, it's not uncommon to discover a few languishing in the crisper drawer come spring. Instead of throwing them out and wasting their potential, make a batch of applesauce. Peel, core, and cube the apples and put in a medium saucepan. Add 1/2-inch water, pinch sugar, and 1 stick cinnamon. Bring the water to a boil, and cover. Stir and mash occasionally, and cook until soft. Eat for breakfast or fold into an applesauce cake.

* Vegetables - turn extra carrots, broccoli, or any vegetables into vegetable stock or a soup.

* Cheese - In France, no 'fromage' goes to waste. Grate assorted scraps of cheese and fold into a delicious quiche or omelet.

* Winter Squash - The good and bad of winter squash is their long shelf life. Often left to sit decoratively on the kitchen counter, squashes are still edible after a month or so. Wash the outsides, halve the squash and scoop out the seeds. Roast in a 400 degree oven until tender, then scoop out the flesh. Mash with butter for a chunky side or puree in a blender for a healthy addition to muffin batter or pancakes. Or, try Tara's recipe for a healthy soup.