Let’s shout about being frugal and wear it as a badge of pride, whether it’s a reaction to soaring food costs, an urge to go low-waste or just sheer common sense not to empty your wallet into the bin. While the term ‘leftovers’ isn’t one to make the heart sing, Sue Quinn is here to dispel the thought that food leftovers are somehow second-rate and prove that thrift has never been so clever or delicious. What got me taking notice was Sue’s smart approach to those commonly binned ingredients including bread, milk, cheese, salad leaves, and even the unwanted remains of takeaways. As a book that bursts with good ideas, it sensibly begins with a collection of master recipes – think pasta bakes, soups, risottos – that you can adapt to whatever you have languishing in the bottom of the fridge, before jumping into the truly exciting stuff. In my house it’s floppy salad leaves that most often have me scrambling for ideas, so the tart crust made of leftover bread and filled with spinach, lettuce and other greens is sheer genius. Limp carrots are transformed by roasting with chickpeas (save the aquafaba for a chocolate mousse) then basting with a tart marmalade dressing and a sprinkling of feta, and the sticky ginger cake using surplus porridge is divine as well as ingenious. At last a smart use for cold cooked rice: whizz it into a velvety batter for a cherry and vanilla rice tart reminiscent of Bakewell tart. There are even ideas for using up the last scrapings at the end of a jar or can – it’s all flavour and can be put to good use. So, avoid the ‘not-again’ groans greeting last night’s reheated dinner and have some fun. Tracy Whitmey