The term "whole hog" is a philosophy among some chefs that you should use and celebrate the whole animal in cooking.

Tip of the Week

The term "whole hog" is a philosophy among some chefs that you should use and celebrate the whole animal in cooking.

"Rustic cuisine is based upon using what is at hand — think of your grandmother’s cooking," says Reno, Nev.-based chef Mark Estee. "In those days a similar philosophy was practiced because they didn’t source only the best cuts, they used everything in a variety of different recipes."

Putting that idea to work in your home kitchen reaps the same benefits of inspired creativity, sharpened skills and practice with more difficult techniques. "It lends itself to feeling good about what you are eating and living sustainably and cost-efficiently," Estee adds.

Estee, a James Beard-nominated chef-owner of CAMPO Reno, CAMPO Mammoth Mountain, Burger ME and Chez Louis, also uses the phrase "root to stalk" for vegetables.

One of his starter recipes features beets. Here’s the step-by-step process:

1. Purchase beets with stems attached.

2. Once you’re home and in the kitchen, cut the leafy tops off, wash and set aside.

3. Wash and dice the beet stalk.

4. Wash beets and roast with olive oil, salt and pepper.

5. Saute diced stems with garlic, olive oil and peperoncino.

6. Heat a pan and quickly wilt leafy beet tops with diced tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.

Now enjoy the whole beet — root to stalk.

— Amber Krosel, More Content Now