Roasted Veggies with Carrot-Top Pesto
Recipe Redux – April, 2017: Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste
Did you know that the most nutritious part of a beet is the is the greens at the top of the plant and not the ruby red root below?!
That’s right, it is.
The same holds true for other root vegetables, including carrots. The leafy green tops on a carrot are incredibly nutrient dense. Sadly, most people throw these incredibly valuable parts away.
Don’t follow the crowd and toss these nutritious greens out with the trash. Instead, toss them into your recipes in the kitchen!!!
But how exactly do you prepare those carrot top greens?
One way to use them is in your vegetable stock. That’s an really good use for the bottom part of the greens, especially when they are on the tough side.
But an even tastier idea for the softer stems and the leafy green parts: throw those carrot greens into a tasty garlic pesto. You won’t believe how delicious the pesto will be using carrot greens in place of basil. And imagine the money you can save using something you normally throw away in place of expensive bunches of basil! The recipe uses both the lemon juice and zest, so nothing is wasted from your citrus either.
This carrot top pesto tastes great tossed with roasted veggies; it really gives them an extra big punch of flavor. This recipe also yields way more pesto than your veggies will need. Use the extra pesto as a sandwich spread, or as your sauce with regular or zucchini pasta.
A little bonus: I managed to find these beautiful white onions with their tops also attached at the grocery. I took some of its whiter greens, sliced them and added them to the roasted veggies as well. the remaining greens I will throw in a stir fry later this week. Waste not, want not!
2 bunches Carrots, with green tops
2 small Onions, white, peeled, sliced into eighths
1/4 cup Olive oil, divided
1 bunch Parsley, fresh, rinsed
2-3 large Garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup Walnuts
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 small Lemon, juiced and zested
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut the green tops off of the carrots and rinse the greens and carrots well. Set aside the carrot greens.
In a medium roast pan toss carrots and cut onion in 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Roast the veggies for 30-40 minutes, or until al dente.
Separate the softer greens from the hard part of the carrot greens. Save the hard green stem parts for stock making at a future time by placing in a sealed ziplock bag in the fridge or freezer.
To a food processor add the softer carrot green tops, plus the parsley, walnuts, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and zest and process to combine ingredients. Slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil while processing. Use a rubber spatula to remove pesto from processor container.
Toss all the roasted vegetables in 1/4 cup of the carrot pesto. Serve warm.
Refrigerate the remaining pesto for future use. The pesto can keep 5 days in the refrigerator.
Makes 4 servings roasted vegetables and about 2 cups pesto.