Spring is such a beautiful time of year. Everything is so full of life, there is a sense of rebirth and new beginnings are just around the corner. We see flowers blooming, hear bees humming and feel the weather beginning to warm up.
The farmers markets are full of fresh fruit and vegetables ready to be made into spring salads, dips and more.
Shilpi & Etienne, the Chef-Food photographer duo local to the Byron Bay region have recently started a food blog that includes recipes that use local, fresh ingredients to create simple and nourishing meals. They have put together a recipe using carrot tops that would otherwise be thrown away to create a vibrant chimichurri.
Every week, instead of shopping at the supermarket, we head to one of the many farmer’s markets to buy, not only local fresh produce but also to get inspiration to create something new.
That’s how one day, we spotted these beautiful fresh baby carrots. The greens were still attached, a great sign of freshness! Probably these baby carrots had been harvested just that morning! At that point we didn’t know what dish we wanted to make but we knew we would do something very special with these carrots.
Firm believers that vegetables are far from boring, we love to create exciting dishes that are sustainable. Root to stem cooking is something we are very passionate about hence we came up with this dish wherein we could use every part of the carrots. Instead of buying a bunch of herbs, we chose to use the carrot tops as part of the dish - our bit to encourage mindful cooking and reducing food wastage!
Keeping this dish simple allowed the baby carrots to shine and honestly, they didn’t need much else. Perfect for oven roasting, they are sweeter and less woody compared to regular carrots. Just Tossed in olive oil, seasoned with thyme, garlic, salt and pepper, we roasted them at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes.
While the carrots were in the oven, we made our carrot top chimichurri. If you are not familiar with this condiment, it is an Argentine herb sauce, made with chopped parsley, onion, garlic, chili, vinegar and olive oil. However, for our chimichurri recipe, we swap parsley with the carrot tops and add some of our favorite ingredients like shallots, jalapeño peppers, red wine vinegar, lemon and dried oregano. The chimichurri should be tangy, zesty, and fragrant, with just a hint of spice from the jalapeños and that’s exactly what you get following this recipe.
The dish eaten on its own is delicious, but if you want to make it more substantial, like us you can prepare a simple hummus, arrange the oven roasted baby carrots on the top, drizzle the chimichurri over the carrots and garnish the plate with toasted almonds and some fresh carrot top leaves.
The dish looks not only appetizing, but smells wonderful too!
Other serving suggestion we would recommend, are a slow cooked trout fillet, grilled swordfish, roasted lamb rump or braised beef cheeks.
This dish is simple and easy to prepare so we hope you will give it a go.
Until then, think wise, act wisely, and repurpose food!
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For the Baby Carrots
- 2 bunch baby carrots (makes 500gm peeled) with greens
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 thyme sprigs
- salt, pepper to taste
For the Carrot top chimichurri
- 2 bunch carrot tops
- 2 medium jalapenos pepper diced
- 2 medium shallots diced
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 medium lemon juiced
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 250ml olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
For the baby carrots
1. Cut the green leaf stems from the carrots, leaving about 2cm of the thick green stem attached at the bottom. Keep the carrot tops aside. Peel the carrots and wash the greens to remove any debris.
2. In a bowl, toss the carrots, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme sprigs until evenly coated. Spread the carrots on a roasting tray and add the crushed garlic cloves.
3. Roast in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes or until tender. Use the tip of a small kitchen knife to see if they are cooked.
For the carrot top chimichurri
4. Remove the seeds from the jalapenos and chop finely. Peel the shallots and garlic and chop finely. Grate the zest of the lemon and juice the lemon.
5. Pick the green part from the carrot tops discarding the stems. Keep some green sprigs on the side as a garnish. In a food processor mix the carrot top with the olive oil to a roughly chopped green mixture.
6. In a bowl combine the jalapenos, shallots and garlic. Add the chopped carrot top mixture and combine well.
7. Grate the zest of the lemon into the bowl and add the juice of the lemon. Add the oregano, red wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes for the flavours to develop.
More about Between2Kitchens
"We are Shilpi & Etienne, the Chef-Food photographer duo behind Between2Kitchens! Together we started this food blog to share simple, delicious, restaurant-style recipes, to make entertaining at home stress free, fun, and enjoyable! You will find our recipes to be sophisticated but also effortless enough for a weeknight meal!
With more than 20 years of experience as a professional Chef, Etienne shares his best recipes on the blog with the aim of making it a one stop shop for anyone looking for inspiring cooking ideas! Especially, when you want to add a bit of oomph to your meals!"