Don't Waste Those Tops: Eat More Greens

My goal is to repurpose pretty much everything in the kitchen to cut down on waste. With each new recipe, I create a quilt, of sorts, weaving unused ingredients, or leftover portions, from one dish into the next new recipe I develop. When I make bread, the little bit of flour left on the board after kneading and baking gets spooned into a bowl for the next time. A few leftover meatballs might make for a meager meal on their own. Smashed up and simmered in a marinara sauce, though, they’re a hearty dinner over polenta or pasta.

When I buy beets, the tops, also called beet greens, are always set aside for a quick saute. Finding uses for the less-obvious ingredients is something I particularly enjoy. Take carrots, for example. They, too, come with these lush, green leaves attached, which most people snap off and toss in the trash. Thanks to some inspiration from a friend on Instagram a couple of months ago, I decided to make a pesto out of them. This recipe is a great way to enjoy an old favorite in a new way.

Carrot Top, Cilantro and Pistachio Pesto
Makes about 1 1/4 cups
One bunch (55 g) carrot tops, rinsed
Small handful (8 g) cilantro
1 tablespoon (15 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (210 mL) grapeseed oil
1/4 cup (35 g) pistachios, toasted
1/4 teaspoon (1 g) kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Add the carrot tops, cilantro, lemon juice and grapeseed oil to the bowl of a blender. Pulse until the greens are roughly chopped. Blend until the mixture becomes smooth. Add the pistachios and blend again until smooth. Season with the salt and pepper. Pesto may be stored in a tightly covered glass jar and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Get more recipes:

Keep Reading

Next Up

Eat More of Your Greens

You can eat the stems of sturdy greens like Swiss chard, kale and collards. Just note that the stems take longer to cook: When you're chopping, set the stems aside so you can cook them separately