From waste to taste…

The hop plant powerhouse

It’s zero waste week and the hop harvest we thought we would spend a bit of time thinking about these powerhouse plants that can grow 3 – 6 m in a single growing season.

Most brewers use only the inch-long hop flowers on the bine; the rest goes to waste. Binary Botanical uses the hop leaves. What others discard is our treasure.  We love the fact that something sustainable can be so delicious.

Finding new uses for the leaves

We thought – why stop there… there must be other uses for these powerhouse plants. We have been experimenting with different ways of cooking with the leaves and we were inspired by the many uses people have found for tea leaves. The most interesting

Hop Leaf salad dressing recipes

The leaves have quite a distinctive herbal flavour and can add some interest and depth to an otherwise bland salad.

Inspired by recipes to use left-over or fermented green tea leaves – we have come up with some hop leaf dressings that you can enjoy. These are both easy to make (under 2 minutes).  We have also included the fermented leaf variation which is quick to make but you need to prepare it 2 days in advance.       


Tangy and zesty dressing
  • 2 tbsp leaves
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • ½ lemon

Serve as with a deconstructed crunchy salad with your favourite of cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeño, peanuts and split peas with the dressing in the middle.  Squeeze of fresh lemon or lime to taste.

Earthy and nutting dressing
  • 2 tbsp leaves
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1tsp white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
  • ½ lime
  • Sesame seeds

Serve over rice with sesame seeds or roasted peanuts to garnish.  Squeeze of fresh lime to taste.

Honey mustard twist dressing
  • 2 tbsp leaves
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp French mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey or agave syrup
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Serve with roasted vegetables or a fresh salad with some mayonnaise


Boil the kettle.  Add the hop leaves to a cup as you would instant coffee and fill with hot water. Leave for 1 min to steep. Drain and press the excess water out of the hop leaves and let it cool to room temperature.

If you want the stronger more complex taste of the fermented leaves, place the drained hop leaves in a partially covered container for 2 days before the next steps.. the leaves should smell like over-ripe fruit.

Combine the leaves with the all the ingredients in a mini food processor and pulse to combine.

If you have any other twists we would love to know as we plan to experiment with lots of different hop leaf recipes over the next few months.



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