I really like Linda Ly’s The CSA Cookbook. It is not a vegan book, but about 90+% of the recipes could be veganized with a vegan substitute.
I started looking at the copy that Quarto Publishing graciously sent me to review as soon as it landed on my doorstep. I’m amazed that there are so many recipes that use parts of veggies that I often toss in the compost. This pesto recipe uses kale stems as the main ingredient with some parsley, walnuts, and garlic.
In other recipes, she utilizes leaves from bean and tomato plants and dispels the myth that tomato leaves are poisonous. Carrot top greens are used and she stir fries watermelon rind.
Again there are recipes that are not vegan, but you can use coconut bacon, tofu, seitan and vegan cheeses to make the recipes your own.
Be sure to try her recipe for chard stem hummus too. My mind is blown by all the cool ideas I’m getting from this book!
Tell me what your best tip is to use up as much of any veggie as possible. I need all the help I can get!
Kale Stem Pesto from The CSA Cookbook
How many kale recipes have you come across in which the directions tell you to reserve the stems for “another use” or even discard them altogether? Well, friends, this is your other use. Those rigid stems and ribs we often remove are the star of the show here, and they’re every bit as fresh and earthy as their leafy counterparts. Used raw, they’re a great pairing for the tangy lemon in this pesto. You’re not solely limited to kale stems, either; try this with your other neglected stems, such as collards, cauliflower, or broccoli.
- 1 cup chopped kale stems
- 1/2 cup packed fresh parsley with stems
- 1/2 cup toasted walnuts
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
- Add all the ingredients except the oil to a food processor and pulse until crumbly, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Continue pulsing and add the oil in a slow, steady stream until well blended. Some people like their pesto super smooth, but I prefer a bit of texture, so process to your liking. For a thick paste that you can spread onto sandwiches and pizzas, use only ¼ cup of oil. For a thin sauce that you can stir into pastas and soups, use a full ½ cup.