Although eating beetroots, carrots and all their edible underground friends from root to leaf isn’t new, conceiving inventive dishes from the parts that are too commonly considered scraps is a culinary variation we’re warming to quickly. Think carrot-top salad, beetroot-leaf pesto and spinach-stem stir-fry. What’s essential here is starting with quality vegetables. Make the most of wholefood eating with these three root-to-stem recipes.
Waste not want not with these 3 root-to-stem recipes
Charred Carrot Toasts With Carrot-Top Pesto and Buttermilk Ricotta
Originally posted on Oprah.com.
4T extra-virgin olive oil
12 whole medium carrots with skin on, washed, tops trimmed and reserved
2t kosher salt
1t ground coriander
1t ground fennel
1 cup roughly chopped, packed carrot tops (from carrots, above)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup pecan nuts or walnuts
1/4 cup packed basil leaves (from about 1/2 bunch)
1/4 cup packed mint leaves (from about 1/2 bunch)
2T lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
2t finely grated lemon zest (from 1 to 2 lemons)
1/2t kosher salt
1/4t crushed red-pepper flakes
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 green onions, trimmed and finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
1t finely grated lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
4 slices ciabatta bread
To make the carrot toasts, preheat the oven to 150°C. In a cast-iron skillet, heat 1T oil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the carrots with 1T oil, 1/2t salt, coriander and fennel until evenly coated. Arrange in the skillet in a single layer and cook 7 to 8 minutes, turning once until just charred. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for about 25 minutes, tossing the carrots once or twice until golden brown and tender. Reserve until cool enough to handle.
In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, make the pesto by pulsing the carrot tops with the Parmesan, nuts, basil, mint, lemon juice and zest, honey, 1/2t salt and red-pepper flakes until finely chopped – about 30 seconds. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the 2/3 cup of oil. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the green onions. Set the pesto aside.
In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, buttermilk, lemon zest and 1/2t salt, then set the mixture aside.
When the carrots are cool, cut them into bite-size pieces. In a medium bowl, toss the carrots with 1/2t salt. Wipe the skillet clean and return to the stove.
Heat the remaining 2T oil in the skillet over medium heat. Arrange the ciabatta slices in a single layer and cook about 3 minutes per side, flipping halfway through until golden brown on both sides. Season with the remaining 1/2t salt and transfer to four plates.
Spread the buttermilk ricotta mixture on the toasts and pile the carrots on top. Spoon about 2T pesto over each serving, cut in half, and serve immediately.
Raw Asparagus Soup
Originally posted on Onegreenplanet.org.
12 spears fresh asparagus
1 medium onion
3 cups water
Chopped onions, mushrooms, asparagus, for garnishing
mint leaves and croutons, for garnishing (optional)
In a blender, purée all the ingredients (reserving the garnish) until very smooth. Serve cold or warm, garnished with a few pieces of chopped onion, mushrooms and asparagus.
Crispy beet flatbread pizza
Originally posted on Craving Nature
3 whole medium beets, washed and peeled, tops trimmed and reserved
3/4 cup oat flour*
1 flax ‘egg’ (1T ground flaxseed/linseed + 3T warm water)
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1T olive oil
1T chopped rosemary
Salt and pepper, to taste
Toppings: hummus and your choice of beet greens/spinach/rocket, asparagus, hard-boiled egg halves, cauliflower florets, cherry tomatoes, sliced avocado, pumpkin seeds, sliced artichokes, and salt and pepper to taste.
*For a grain-free substitute, use 3/4 cup almond flour and 1/4 cup chickpea flour
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Wash, peel and cut the beets into quarters. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Increase the oven heat to 220˚C.
In a blender or food processor, pulse the roasted beets with the remaining ingredients until smooth (this should be similar to a hummus texture) to make a beet ‘dough’. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
With a rubber spatula, spoon the beet ‘dough’ onto the parchment paper and smooth it out in a rectangular or oval shape until even, keeping it about 1/2cm thick. To make sure that the edges are thick enough, use a knife as a ‘wall’ when smoothing out the dough to avoid burning at the edges. Place in the oven for 15-18 minutes.
While the flatbread is cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat and sauté the beet greens (or spinach or rocket) until lightly cooked. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove the flatbread from the oven, allow to cool and spread hummus over it, plus the greens and your choice of toppings.
Instead of throwing away excess vegetable parts, why not reduce waste by using them to create new root-to-stem recipes?