Thursday, 14 October 2021 12:43

Using the Whole Vegetable: Root to Stem Cooking

Written by Marisa Kerkvliet
Photo by Pattie Garrett. Photo by Pattie Garrett.

One of the great benefits of shopping at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market is having access to the whole form of a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. When making my recipe for sheet pan chicken with carrots, potatoes, and carrot top pesto, you can gather most ingredients from local farms at the farmers’ market.

You will find brightly colored piles of fresh young carrots in the fall with their vibrant green tops still attached. Carrot tops are highly nutritious and packed with vitamin A and vitamin C and a decent amount of calcium and iron. Carrot tops can be used just as any other dark leafy greens and can be stirred into soups, sauteed with butter and garlic, or blended into a flavorful fall pesto. 

If carrot tops are unavailable, you can make this recipe with fresh parsley instead. The carrots are sold with their tops attached, freshly harvested and have tender skin that does not require peeling. Just scrub the carrots well to remove any dirt and ensure the carrot tops are clean. You can leave 1-2 inches of the stems attached to the top for added visual interest for this dish. If your carrots vary in size, cut the larger ones in half lengthwise so they have a similar diameter to the smaller ones to ensure even roasting. 

Potatoes work well in this recipe, but other in-season fall vegetables such as delicata squash, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, or brussels sprouts would be delicious as well. You can use any size of potatoes, but, just like the carrots, make sure they are all cut to be about the same size. Cut smaller potatoes in half and larger ones into quarters. 

Any leftover carrot top pesto can be stored in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. This pesto also makes an excellent spread for grilled sandwiches, a topping for fried eggs, or a base for homemade salad dressing. 

I enjoy developing recipes and sharing wholesome food using my background in nutrition and culinary arts. For more seasonal, whole-food recipes for the everyday home cook, visit my Instagram And visit the Saratoga Farmers’ Market for the freshest, locally sourced ingredients.

The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from 3 to 6 p.m. at High Rock Park. Find us online at and follow us on Facebook and Instagram. 


FM ChickenSpinachSalad

Read 376 times Last modified on Thursday, 14 October 2021 12:48


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