Carrot Tops Are Not Orange

But they are edible! Who knew?

I only found out because they were in my farm box from Cal Poly Pomona, which you can buy online here. I figured if they hadn’t cut off the tops then maybe they were like beet tops, which are as yummy as Swiss chard.

So thanks to some inspiration from this recipe from The Guardian, I made a pesto sauce from the carrot tops! SO easy and delish.

Make sure to use organic as the tops get the bulk of the pesticides.

Carrot Top Pesto

-1 bunch carrot tops
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1-2 garlic cloves depending on size and preference  
-Handful of walnuts (roughly 1/2 cup), or substitute pine nuts or almonds
-Salt to taste 
-Crushed red pepper for heat (optional)

Rinse the carrot tops well. Soak them for 10 minutes. Then rinse and soak again. 

Use a blender or food processor to blend the rest of the ingredients, except the crushed red pepper, which you can sprinkle on once plated. Simple as that! 

For those with sensitive tummies (like mine), cook the pesto in a frying pan for a few minutes. The heat takes off some of the zest of the garlic so it’s easier on the stomach. 

This would be great on sandwiches, salads and any dish where pesto shines. I like it with brown rice pasta with veggies and chicken. Yum!
Blended pesto
Blend, baby, blend!
Picture of pesto mixed with pasta, veggies and chicken
Carrot-top pesto mixed with pasta, veggies and chicken, oh my!

Fresh Produce Changes Everything

14.5 pounds of fresh veggies and citrus

I feel like it’s really dramatic–and privileged–of me to say that. And yet, it’s true. Since I started picking up a box of locally-grown produce from Cal Poly Pomona, about five weeks ago, everything’s changed.

Up until now, I haven’t been part of the “eat local” movement because I live in a part of L.A. that isn’t trendy enough to access it. I was going to get Farm Fresh to You based on a friend’s recommendation but they only deliver during the night and anything left on my doorstep would be stolen before dawn.

So when Cal Poly Pomona announced it had started a “Farm Box” program that allows you to pick up CPP-grown produce for just $26–and that every purchase supports student success–I thought I’d try it out. I had no idea how much it would impact my life.

These fresh items require creativity and timely attention–cooking has become an innovative art around here! And, even after too long in the kitchen long after my feet began to ache, it boosts my spirit to know that I’m eating off the land, in a way that supports students, the local economy, and the earth. Oh and did I mention my new nickname? My pops calls me “Farmer Joe” because on our Sunday Zoom call, I show off the contents of my box of produce. My sister-in-law asks, “So, what’s on the menu this week?”

I’m not sure what recipes I’ll play with this week but they will include the following goodies, or what my brother called “deliciousness”: broccoli, spinach, beets, kale, lettuce, avocados, lemons, oranges, celery and cauliflower.

Purchase a Farm Fresh box of produce from Cal Poly Pomona here. The only drawback is that you have to pick it up from campus on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Given we’re in a pandemic and I can’t really go out any way, it hasn’t been a problem.

This is not a food blog

Picture of the author laying on the couch with her dog lying on top of her. The author smiles at the camera and is wearing an apron.
Molly snuggles up on me for a post-cooking and eating nap. My mom sewed the apron I’m wearing as a Christmas gift for my honey years ago. Little did we know I would be the one using it!

I’ve spent most of the last year in my house due to COVID-19. I didn’t expect to become part of the trend of folks learning to cook during the pandemic, but eventually I got sick of the same old plates and eating takeout all the time was not an option. (more…)

Our Beloved Tita

Our beloved Juana Clarisa Vera Birba has been called home. She is technically my “grandmother-in-law,” but from the moment I met her she’s been my abuelita, my Tita.

There are so many things I love about Tita. For example, her quirks – what she called “tiki-tikis.” She was unapologetic about them and turned them into ritual. Ours was the fact that she never learned my name. Every time I’d see her I’d ask: “Tita, como me llamo?”

“Ay, chica, esperate, no me digas,” she’d say, as if it were on the tip of her tongue. (more…)

If You Haven’t Binge Watched Ramy Yet, What Are You Waiting For?

Screen Shot 2019-05-03 at 8.10.15 PM

Just two weeks after the new series Ramy debuted, Hulu has just announced that it’s been renewed for another season. Because there are so many reasons to watch it, I talked about it on Rising Up with Sonali and wrote about it for Ms. MagazineCheck them both out below. I’d love to hear your thoughts about the show! (more…)