BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine

Make the most of spring with Gaz’s carrot-top pesto and pickled radishes


I’ve got just the recipe for you if you are thinning out carrots or have an abundance of them growing. Did you know you can eat carrot tops? They have a beautiful aromatic flavour and they’re perfect for a carrot-top pesto. I mix it through pasta, or use it to top pizzas, hummus or pretty much any dish that needs a fresh lit.

All you need to do is grab a big handful of carrot tops and blend them in a food processor. You can add in some herbs like basil or parsley, too, along with a small handful of nuts or seeds of your choice – I like to use pine nuts or pumpkin seeds. I keep my pesto dairy-free, achieving a cheese-like flavour by adding nutritiona­l yeast and a little miso paste, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice. Then just blitz it at a low speed, while trickling in some olive oil. When your pesto has reached the consistenc­y you prefer, season it with salt and serve.

I also really love pickling my radishes and it’s so simple to do. I start with basic pickling vinegar and add in the same volume of water plus salt and sugar to taste – a tablespoon of each per 250ml of liquid is a good starting point. I also add some other flavours to infuse into the vinegar such as mustard seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorn­s, a bay leaf and a couple of garlic cloves. Then heat the mixture until the salt and sugar dissolve, and add your radishes. Rather than chopping them up, I oten just halve my radishes so they hang onto a bit of their bite once pickled. Let the radishes cook in the vinegar mixture for around five minutes, then transfer the radishes and the pickling mixture to a clean jar. Allow to cool then store in the fridge for a few months.

 ?? ?? Carrot-top pesto can be made from tender thinnings; later batches last well into summer
Carrot-top pesto can be made from tender thinnings; later batches last well into summer

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