‘Beet’ing food waste this Winter
The vibrancy of vegetables this time of year sure makes the winter more bearable!
Fighting wind and rain, last weekend I headed across the boarder to Dorset Farmers’ Market in Poundbury, Dorchester in search of edible treats to take back to the kitchen. Although absolutely blowing a hoolie, the market saw an impressive turnout, with plenty of punters picking up their weekly groceries as well as some delicious Christmas treats for friends and family – finally I felt some headway was being made when it comes to shifting our loyalties away from the supermarkets and towards our fantastic small producers!
It was the vegetable stall, however, that was of greatest satisfaction. For a time of year that may be associated with only eating beige, rooty vegetables – hardy in nature and appearance – the vegetables were truly colourfully and abundant, offering a little ray of sunshine on a very miserable day.
From rich-green kales and cabbages to vibrant heritage carrots and beautiful multicoloured beetroots, it was hard not to get carried away! But I am conscious during the festive period, more so than ever, of trying to avoid excessive purchasing and being wasteful when it comes to food.
Its seems that December is a time of overindulgence, but unfortunately with that comes the unnecessary throwing away of perishable goods. An expensive time of year as it is, (dare I say it) Christmas is becoming more costly than ever for not only the consumer but also the environment. I have therefore been inspired to create a recipe that looks at buying less and using more!
Transfixed by the stunning colours of the carrots and beetroots, it had to also include these two winter wonders. Both vegetables with a lot going for them, carrots and beetroots can be utilised from root to tip, and so my honey and mustard roasted vegetables with carrot top pesto dish was created!
A delicious winter warmer for herbivores and carnivores alike, this full-flavoured one-tray-wonder is something you have to try this Christmas. Topped with beautifully creamy and perfectly crumbly Hill Farm Dairy goats cheese, this truly is a stunner of a dish that looks at minimal wastage without cutting any corners!
HONEY & MUSTARD ROASTED CARROTS, BEETROOT & SQUASH
500g mixed heritage carrots
500g mixed beetroots
250g squash, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 tsp honey
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
2 sprigs of rosemary
Salt and pepper
80g goats cheese
Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.
Cut off the tops then wash the carrots and beetroot thoroughly, gently scrubbing any dirt from the skins. Half, quarter or leave the carrots and beetroot whole so they are all relatively the same size. Place in a roasting tin ready for the oven along with the prepared squash.
In a bowl, combine the oil, honey and mustard. Finely chop the rosemary before adding to the bowl along with a pinch of salt and pepper, then give it a quick whisk. Pour the oil mixture over the vegetables ensuring they are all fully coated. Place in the oven and cook for 30 - 40 minutes.
Make the pesto whilst the vegetables are roasting.
Once cooked, but still retaining a little bite, remove the vegetables from the oven. To serve, sprinkle with a crumbly goats cheese and spoon over the pesto.
This recipe serve 4 as a side or 2 as a main
CARROT TOP PESTO
80g carrot tops
40g walnuts, toasted
40g hazelnuts, toasted
1 garlic clove
Squeeze of lemon
Crack black pepper
4 - 6 tbsp rapeseed oil
Put the carrot tops, thick stalks removed, in a food processor along with the nuts.
Add the garlic, finely chopped, and grate in the parmesan. Squeeze in a little lemon and a good crack of black pepper.
Pulse the food processor until the ingredients start to come together before slowly adding the oil. Add more oil if you prefer a looser texture.
Season to taste
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