It’s new carrot season and we are really pleased with our crop again this year. They are the sweetest, most fragrant carrots ever! While they are being harvested fresh for the boxes (before we do a big harvest and store them for winter) we hope you really enjoy the greens too! They are perfectly edible and incredibly delicious and nutritious. Think of them like a fibrous herb. They have a strong parsley/carrot flavour and are best whizzed up into a pesto or other green sauce like this chimichurri. Or you can slice them finely and add them to soups or stews. Whatever you do, don’t throw the greens away, you’ll be missing out on some amazing dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.
The main ingredient for a traditional chimichurri is parsley so carrot tops work really well as a replacement here. Simply whizz the ingredients up together in a food processor, allow the flavours to sit and mingle for a little while and you have a delicious herby drizzle to make your tacos (or barbecue, burritos, roast veg…) pop!
How do you use carrot tops? Liz x
Carrot tops (I used tops from 8 carrots)
1 tsp chilli flakes (or use fresh red chilli to taste)
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste (I use about a tsp of each)
8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or more!)
4 tbsp vinegar (red wine vinegar is traditional but local apple cider vinegar works well for this recipe too)
3 cloves of garlic
Rinse your carrot tops well, then roughly chop them and add them to a food processor.
Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until they come together into a rough, loose sauce. You may need to stop the machine a few times and scrape down the sides.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. You may also need to add more oil or vinegar to loosen the sauce. Blend again briefly to combine.
Spoon the sauce into a small bowl, cover and allow the flavours to mingle and marinade while you prepare the meal you’ll be eating the chimichurri with. We drizzled ours over hard shell tacos this time and they were absolutely delicious! Enjoy.
One of my go-to weekday dinner solutions, for those hectic days when the juggle between work-life and family-life has left you reeling, is to roast a big tray of vegetables and then while that’s cooking decide what to do with it. I usually turn it into pasta sauce or soup with the help of my handy stick blender and add some extra protein with a drained tin of beans or lentils. There is always the option to stir the roasted veggies through rice or add them to tacos or a make a warm salad by tossing them through a drained tin of cooked pulses (our organic range from Bunalun is so handy). Roasting vegetables makes them sweeter and more delicious and our farm grown fennel and tomatoes are just *made* for pasta.
Like most of my recipes, this is a flexible affair. Make it smooth or chunky, don’t worry too much about the ratios of the different vegetables. Make do with what you have and if in doubt, add a tin of chopped tomatoes. Liz x
Ingredients (serves 4 generously)
2 fennel bulbs (roughly chopped, fronds kept to one side to use fresh as a herb)
250g tomatoes (roughly chopped)
1/2 a bulb of garlic (peeled and chopped)
1 onion (peeled and chopped)
optional extra vegetables like courgette, peppers, carrots…(roughly chopped)
olive oil for roasting – about 4 tbsp
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp fennel seeds
optional drained tin of green lentils
pasta to serve
optional chilli flakes and extra virgin olive oil to serve
Turn your oven on to 200C and find your largest oven tray.
Roughly chop all the vegetables and scatter them onto the tray.
Drizzle generously with good olive oil and season with salt, pepper and fennel seeds.
Use your hands to mix the vegetables, oil and seasoning well, then pop the tray into the oven to roast the vegetables while you cook some pasta (we stock a range of brilliant organic pastas, including gluten free varieties, which you can add to your veg order).
After 20 minutes, the vegetables should be soft and starting to caramelise. If you used a smaller tray then it will take longer and you should stir them occasionally to ensure they all catch some direct heat.
Carefully tip and scrape the roasted vegetables into a deep container. I like to use a sauce pot so that I can easily re-heat the sauce if needed. Then using a stick blender, blend the vegetables into a sauce. You can make it perfectly smooth or leave some texture and chunks, however you prefer it is fine! Or add some vegetable stock to loosen the sauce into a soup?
Add the chopped reserved fennel fronds if you like that fresh, aniseed flavour. For extra protein and fibre, add a drained tin of lentils or white beans to the sauce.
Stir through freshly cooked pasta and serve. I always put extra virgin olive oil, flakey salt and chilli flakes on the table too with this dish. Enjoy!