Waste Not: Pesto Improvisations

2015_May28_EdiblePioneerValley_Summer_076-e1435867733662.jpg

Americans waste up to 40% of all food produced annually (National Resources Defense Council)––that’s 35 millions pounds of food that ends up in landfills each year (Environmental Protection Agency). In our new department Waste Not, Edible Pioneer Valley gives you a quick ways to use more of the food you buy. Check out our Waste Not section for more ways to reduce the amount of food you waste at home.

Summer is here and that means CSAs, farmers markets, and home gardens will be filling our kitchens with gorgeous vegetables. Impromptu pestos are a great way to use the “green leafies” that come attached to the top of your carrots, beets, radishes, and turnips. They also do yeoman’s work when it comes to taming the umpteenth bunch of kale in your CSA box. Pestos can be tossed with pasta, spread on sandwiches, used as a dip … the possibilities are endless.

 Recipe: Kale Stem Pesto

2015_May28_EdiblePioneerValley_Summer_073

 Recipe: Radish Top Pesto

2015_May28_EdiblePioneerValley_Summer_076

RIFF ON THESE RECIPES

If your greens are tough, give them a quick blanch in boiling water, otherwise jump right in. Use the oil of your choice to blend the pesto and add nuts, cheese, tofu, and/or beans to thicken and enrich it. Finish with a splash of vinegar or citrus juice and a little salt and pepper.

Other combinations to try:

• Beet or chard stems (blanch first), olive oil, white beans
• Carrot tops (blanch first), sunflower oil, sunflower seeds, sharp cheddar, sherry vinegar
• Turnip tops, olive oil, Romano cheese, lemon
• Cilantro stems, pumpkin seeds, lime