My grandma grew most of the fruit and vegetables she needed and she always used to say “shame to waste it”. If it didn’t end up on the plate, in a soup or stock then the scraps were turned into compost and used to fertilise her next crop. Unfortunately I have no garden nor compost pile, so I do my best to use as much of produce I buy so I’m not throwing money in the bin.
I bought a bunch of beautiful beetroot to use in a recipe later this week (involving roasted beetroot, salmon, sumac and whipped feta – I’m recreating a dish I ate out so if it works I’ll let you know!) The leaves were too good to throw away so I turned them into this delicious pesto. It’s quick to make and will serve two people. The trick with pesto is to taste and season accordingly, so use this recipe as a guide to create a pesto to your taste.
- Beetroot leaves and stems
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 stalks of basil leaves (about a small handful of leaves)
- 1 tbs pine nuts
- 1 tbs parmesan
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Blanch the beetroot leaves and garlic clove in boiling water for a minute or two until the leaves are wilted. Drain and refresh under cool water.
- Finely dice the beetroot stems.
- Place the cooled beetroot leaves, garlic, pine nuts, parmesan and a good slug of olive oil with a generous pinch of salt and blitz in a food processor.
- Cook your pasta per packet directions and while the pasta is draining reserve a little of the cooking liquid.
- Cook the beetroot stems in some oil in the same pot over a high heat for a minute or two until softened.
- Add the pasta and pesto, with a little of the cooking water so you create a sauce for your hot pasta to soak up.
- Serve with a bit of extra parmesan and cracked pepper.