For months now, I’ve been talking about going to the farmers market to buy some local, seasonal, organic vegetables and coming up with a spontaneous recipe that utilized my haul. But I’ve been procrastinating big time, and one of my excuses was that the my nearest farmers market didn’t have ANY organic farmers present. So here I am walking to Whole Foods Market instead and I see a poster announcing that the Downtown Glendale Market had just moved to a new location with a whole bunch of organic growers! (Bonus points that Carole Gallegos is the new market manager; I used to love chatting with her and shopping at the Studio City Farmers Market when she was there.)
One glance at this beautiful celeriac (aka celery root) and I knew it’s what I wanted to play with. Thinking about what I had back at the house, there were some organic beets that my friend Elliot brought over that I needed to use sooner than later. Then it dawned on me… RAW VEGGIE NOODLES!! Have you ever seen these cool spiral slicers? They can turn vegetables like zucchini, carrots, onions—and yes, beets and celery root—into long, beautiful noodles. Done.
And because I never like to waste, I thought… what could I do with those beet greens? (An excellent source of iron and vitamins A, B, C, and K, btw.) And what goes great with noodles? PESTO! I knew I had olive oil and plenty of different nuts in the pantry, plus a few lemons from my neighbor’s tree, so it was on. I walked home pretty excited about my small haul, and was glad to have reconnected with Carole.
Throwing the recipe together was about as quick and easy as it was to think it up! At a fairly relaxed pace, this shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes to prepare. A little quick pulse action in my Breville food processor, a few twists on the spiral slicer, a light tossing together et voilà! I had a delicious and nutritious raw vegan “noodle” dish (really a crisp salad, I suppose) that tasted as bright as sunshine. Now, on to the recipe so you can recreate it on your own. Shop local and organic!
Recipe: Celery Root & Beet Noodles with Pistachio-Beet Green Pesto
Makes 4 servings
1 large beet
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup shelled raw pistachios
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons water
Cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 medium celery root
Remove the beet greens from the beetroot. Grab 7 or 8 beet greens—about a fistful—then wash and pat them dry. Place the washed beet greens into a food processor or high speed blender with the garlic, pistachios, lemon zest, and nutritional yeast. Pulse until finely chopped and uniformly mixed, 5 to 10 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, 2 tablespoons water, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Pulse again until a thick sauce is formed. (If a thinner consistency is desired, feel free to adjust with more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.) Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
Peel your celery root and beet root. Run the peeled vegetables through the spiral slicer—celery root first, so it doesn’t get dyed by any beet juice—stopping every few turns to cut the noodles with scissors so that they don’t get impossibly long. Toss the celery root noodles with half the pesto in a medium mixing bowl, and do the same with the raw beet noodles and remaining pesto in a separate mixing bowl. Divide the celery root noodles between four bowls, placing it off to one side of each bowl. Repeat the same with the dressed beet noodles, placing them opposite of the celery root noodles. If desired, drizzle with the tiniest bit more extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately, or store covered in the refrigerator for up to two days. (Fresh is best on this one.)
Other ways to use beet greens:
Roasted Beets & Beet Green Salad Recipe [RandyClemens.com] Beet, Beet Green, and Avocado Salad with Tahini Lemon Dressing [Vegan Cooking]