The elaborate meaning is that if we don’t waste anything, then we won’t want anything. I’m not certain if it’s true but it’s definitely a saying that was common in my home as a child. It came from my depression era grandmother who in her farm upbringing learned to use more parts of a chicken that I wish to acknowledge. And we know this is true of other cultures such as the Chinese and the Native Americans.
What we don’t always realize unless we’re steeped in nutritional knowhow is that some of those items that we might consider tossing into the compost are laden with vitamins and can make a really attractive dish on our tables.
I was traveling for a couple of days this past week and much to my chagrin, my male household didn’t taken it upon themselves to build out menus with our CSA produce in my absence. Not to worry, there’s always the weekend. But when the weekend came, the crisper drawers were overflowing and I needed a way to use the produce, not to mention the the ancillary greens that came with them. First and foremost, there is always the green smoothie alternative and both carrot tops and beet greens work well within these. Pulverized and accompanying frozen fruit any traces of bitterness are diminished. My issue was that we also had a large reserve of swiss chard so that would be my smoothie substance for the week. I went looking for something a bit different and came across these two recipes:
Carrot Top Pesto
Adapted from the Showfood Chef
1 bunch carrot greens, washed, and loosely chopped
1 clove garlic
1/2 onion chopped
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/4 cup chopped italian parsley
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Toast the walnuts in the toaster oven. Be sure not to burn. In a saute pan, heat 2 tbls of the olive oil over med. heat. Add the onions and loosely chopped carrot greens. Heat the greens and onions just til wilted (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool for a few moments.
In a blender, add the garlic, crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, walnuts, parsley, cheese, carrot greens mixture and half of the left over olive oil. Puree in pulses. Add the rest of the olive oil as needed to make a loose paste. Taste and adjust seasonings and oil.
We used this as a spread on fresh bread but it would also work well on pasta. In full disclosure, while writing this post, I came across this list indicating that carrot tops may have a mild toxicity.
Bengali Beet Greens
Adapted from Hare Krsna
1 Tbs olive oil
1 inch fresh ginger
½ tsp. Asafoetida
1 Tbs crushed red chiles
1 large bunch fresh beet greens
4 medium-large Potatoes diced
1 tsp. Fennel seeds
Salt to taste
Dice the potatoes and then lightly boil them for a few minutes. Heat the olive oil and add ginger, Asafoetida, and fennel seeds. Add the beet greens, and fry on a high flame. After about 5 minutes of frying, add salt, the dried chiles, and the potatoes. Heat until warmed through.
What else might you be wasting that will prevent you from wanting?