Growing up on a farm, you learn the value of food. You come to understand that growing your own fruit and vegetable takes time and effort.
Everything that came from my parents' garden was put to good use, never wasted. We would enjoy fresh, seasonal produce and whenever there was surplus my Mum and I would pickle, preserve and jar it, enabling us to continue enjoying this home grown goodness throughout the year. There were always jars of olives, zucchini, capsicum, beans and many other delicious items stored in the pantry.
Any food scraps, such as vegetable peels, were fed to our chickens. Absolutely nothing was wasted. My parents continue to live like this until this day.
As a result of this, my husband and I find it really difficult to throw out food scraps. We always remark to each other that we could be feeding it to the chickens!
WhenI received beautiful fresh carrots with their lush, green, leafy tops in out organic veggie box I was determined to use all of this earthy vegetable. I came up with 'Carrot Top Pesto' so I would not have to dispose of perfectly fresh and delicious food.
It makes a wonderful dip and has a really lovely flavour. More importantly, it's really satisfying knowing that none of my organic produce is going to waste!
SERVES 4-6 as a dip
100g raw cashews
60g carrot tops, stalks removed
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs lemon juice
25g grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the cashews into a food processor and blend until they are coarsely ground.
Add the carrot tops, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice and blend until everything is well mixed.
Finally, add the parmesan and salt and pepper to taste, giving everything one more good whirl around in the food processor.
Scoop out into a small dish and serve with carrot or celery sticks, crunchy bread or tortilla chips. It is also delicious with roasted root vegetables.
Variation: This is quite a chunky pesto. If you want to use it with pasta add 3/4 cup olive oil, instead of the 1/2 cup. It will be a lot thinner and much better for stirring through pasta.