Root to Stem: 6 Recipes That Maximize the Whole Veg
Skins, stems, offcuts—these dishes use it all.
When Chef Fergus Henderson wrote The Whole Beast back in 2004, nose-to-tail eating—everything from snout to trotters—became a sensation. And yet still, most of us are unceremoniously discarding some of the best bits of our veggies. Enter: root-to-stem dining and six great new recipes for maximizing the whole veg.
The leafy part of carrot tops makes a tasty pesto—include or compost the thicker, tougher stems, or toss them into a sealable bag in the freezer to make stock.
Most any vegetable benefits from some time in a hot oven, and when it comes to carrots there’s no need for any prep beyond washing and trimming their greens. Tossed in a little oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper (or any number of herbs and spices), whole carrots turn tender and golden in about 20 minutes.
Light, savoury potato and cheese churros make a tasty appetizer or snack. If you want to fancy them up, add a ramekin of homemade ketchup (a great use for wrinkly tomatoes) or carrot top pesto (see below!) for dipping.
Don’t toss the potato peels—they have tons of vitamins and fibre and make a wonderful chowder-like soup. If you like, chop and cook a few pieces of bacon or a sausage, squeezed out of its casing, along with the onion, celery and carrot as you begin.
Grated beets behave much like carrots or zucchini in cakes, adding moisture and mild, earthy flavour. They do well with chocolate, which helps mask their colour. (Unfortunately, this won’t turn out looking like a red velvet cake, as the beets darken as they bake.)
Kale isn’t the only sturdy leafy veggie able to transform into crisp chips—beet greens can also handle the heat.