Root cause: 'nose-to-tail' cooking goes vegetarian

White bowl on a wooden table with potato and cauliflower curry
Cooking root-to-stem means incorporating the entirety of your fruit and vegetables into your meals, producing less waste. Pictured: Tiny Leaf's potato and cauliflower gobi, curried apple chutney with chili and coconut flakes
(Image credit: TBC)

After nose-to-tail dining – the food philosophy which set out to use all parts of the animal – it was perhaps inevitable that we’d get the vegetarian version, so say hello to root-to-stem. Adopting the same waste-not, want-not approach to greens that nose-to-tail chefs have to meat, root-to-stem uses every part of your humble fruit and veg – stalks, peels, rinds and all. Proponents claim that these commonly disregarded offcuts introduce a fresh palette of flavours and textures: Swiss chard stalks create a smoother, more ethereal houmous, for example, while asparagus tips add a tangy, delightfully pungent touch to relish.

This ecologically aware food trend has attracted a number of culinary advocates, including two new London restaurants: Native in Covent Garden and Tiny Leaf in Notting Hill, a zero-waste, vegetarian-only organic eatery. ‘We include the zest, peel, beet tops, skin and husks,’ says Justin Horne, Tiny Leaf’s executive chef and co-owner. ‘We only use organic fruit and vegetarian, which is better for our health, due to lack of pesticides, and has the added benefits of tasting better too.’

White bowls with courgetti and pesto and bubble and squeak and poached eggs

Tiny Leaf's four floors include a botanical cocktail bar; the Green Room, offering bespoke drinks, canapes and a small plates menu; the White Room, featuring heady aromas, snacks and artisan cocktails; and the Dark Room for after-dark drinks. Pictured left: Tiny Leaf's courgetti and almond pesto, Greek basil and flaked almonds. Right: Tiny Leaf's bubble and squeak and eggs, with poached eggs on toast

(Image credit: TBC)

clams in a broth in a white bowl and pigeon kebabs

Native's palourde clams (pictured front) and pigeon kebabs (back)

(Image credit: TBC)

Rhubarb and custard in filo pastry shells

Native's rhubarb and rosemary, with meadowsweet custard

(Image credit: TBC)


For more information, visit Tiny Leaf’s website and Native’s website


Tiny Leaf
209 Westbourne Park Road
Notting Hill
London, W11 1EA

3 Neal's Yard
Seven Dials
Covent Garden
London, WC2H 9DP


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