(Let's not waste) Carrot Top Pesto
Often overlooked, reducing food waste is one of the most important things we can do to help reverse global warming. It's said that more than 70 billion tons of greenhouse gases could be prevented with food waste reduction* and that gives us, the consumer, the power to help make a positive change. Yes, most food waste is from food left in the field but in more affluent countries like ours, 40 percent of food waste occurs in markets and from customers. By adding in an Imperfect Produce CSA box, and learning to use more parts of a food, I feel good about reducing greenhouse gas emission while providing more nutrition for my family.
Something as simple as using carrot tops can make a difference over time...in fact from just one bunch of carrots I was able to make 3 unique dishes with a little left over to dip in my hummus: pesto pasta salad, summer squash stew, individual raw carrot cakes (yummy!). Heart-healthy and oh-so delish, carrots are vitamin and mineral rich, including vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin K, vitamin C and potassium. The greens add a little protein and more antioxidants to the mix. So go ahead, use your greens!
Carrot Top Pesto
Use in salad, pasta, as a spread on sandwiches, on crackers, etc. Try subbing lemon juice with a couple teaspoons of chopped preserved lemon rind for added flavor.
1 cup carrot tops, soaked in ice water for 20 min. and drained well
1 cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup nutritional yeast (can sub with parmesan if not vegan)
¼ cup toasted pine nuts (can sub toasted walnuts or cashews)
2 Tbsp olive oil (good quality)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (or 2 tsp chopped preserved lemon rind)
salt and pepper
water as needed
Add all ingredients to a Cuisinart and process until smooth, scraping down sides occasionally. Store in fridge for up to 5 days or in freezer for up to 3 months.
* source: The Washington Post, July 2018