One thing leads to another. The past several years these little black bugs have eaten our cabbage and kale seedlings. And the end result is that these only the tough middle stem is left standing with a leaf that looks like lace as it is mostly filled with holes and turning whitish and sorry looking. This year my husband put a garden fabric on the planting box out back and the outcome has been completely different. I would have never thought that such a simple solution would yield such a change! Now they are vibrantly growing. Fortunately the kids love kale chips! We have several different kinds of leafy greens that all belong to the cabbage family and we totally forgot that we had planted broccoli as well, until this morning we spied small broccoli forming amongst the dark green leaves. We had accidentally taken a few of the bottom leaves and added to our cabbage stew yesterday. But I don’t think any harm was done.
Yesterday we decided to make a lightly sautéed garden stew. Cabbage soup raises mixed feelings amongst the public, especially if the cabbage has been cooked for a very long time. That is why I decided to lightly sauté all of the vegetables and brown the meat before putting it all together and finishing it off with a short cook time. I thought it was delicious.
Lightly sautéed kale stew
a variety of kale or cabbage
5-6 carrots, grated
1 large onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 vegetable bouillon cube (I used an organic bouillon cube that has many garden varieties of herbs in it)
1 liter/ 2 pints of water
salt and black pepper to taste
fresh parsley, roughly chopped
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
400 g/ 14 oz minced meat (We happened to have fresh ground horse meat on hand, so that is what we used)
Mince the onions and garlic. Set aside. Grate the carrot and chop the kale. Brown the minced meat along with the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. In the same pan lightly sautée the kale and carrots for a few minutes in a bit of olive oil. Set aside. Put all of the sautéed vegetables and browned minced meat into a large pot. Pour the water over it along with the vegetable bouillon cube. Bring to a simmer. Season with fresh parsley and salt and pepper. Finish with the apple cider vinegar and check taste. Allow to simmer until preferred level of doneness. I preferred my soup to have a bit more texture and for the kids I cooked it a bit more. Total cook time was about 20 minutes.
I had a large bunch of beautifully green carrot tops in wrapped up in a paper towel and tucked in my fridge. Ann from Eat Simply Eat Well suggested that I use them for a pesto. I did a little research online and found the most lovely recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich with roasted carrots and carrot green pesto inspired by the Happyolks blog. It was so delicious that I have not had such a good sandwich in a long time. Even the kids loved them.
Grilled Cheese sandwiches with roasted carrots and carrot green pesto
You will need:
Good quality sourdough bread and good quality cheese. I used Oltermanni which is similar to the Danish Havarti in texture and flavor.
Roasting the carrots:
Wash about 4-5 small carrots per sandwich.
Leave a bit of the greens on them, as they become delicious and crispy in the oven.
A drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Roast in oven for about 20 minutes at 160 C/320 F or until the tip are crispy and the carrots have a bit of color.
While the carrots are roasting, make the carrot green pesto.
Carrot Green pesto
a couple of large bunches of carrot greens, washed
2 cloves of garlic
juice of one lemon
salt and black pepper to taste
Cut the stems of the carrot greens and use only the leafy parts. Place them into a blender of food processor. Add in the garlic and olive oil. Blend until smooth. Add in the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blend for a few more seconds. Check flavor.
Slice thin slices of bread. The bread I used was a homemade sourdough with about 60% wholegrain making the texture of the bread somewhat heavy. That is why I opted for thinner slices.
Butter the outer side of the slice and smear some of the carrot green pesto on the other side. Place butter side down onto a pan that is medium hot. Add a layer of cheese and then 4-5 roasted carrots. Place another layer of cheese before placing the second slice of bread, pesto side down. Fry until golden brown and the cheese has started to melt. Flip over and continue to fry until the other side is a golden brown. Enjoy!
Such a great idea, to use the carrot tops for pesto.
The sandwich looks so tasty! 🙂
I was pleased with how well the sandwich came together…definitely one to make again!
A friend here in Australia also makes carrot top pesto, also nasturtium pesto! I think you can only do this if you grow your own veggies, or if you have access to very fresh organic veggies. Alas, I have neither. That is great that the ground cloth helped your garden so much. One of the things I miss the most in life is a grilled cheese sandwich. At the moment (possibly forever) I must eat totally grain free. Once I’m through with the elimination diet and find out if I can eat almonds, I may be able to make almond bread and again feed my grilled cheese desire. Hope springs eternal! The soup sounds delicious and I will try a version for my lunch today, since I have freshly made stock in the fridge at the moment. Thank you Laila. x
Oh, good luck with your elimination diet, that requires a lot of conviction to stick with it. But perhaps you will find the food items that best suit you. Fortunately there are grain free options although it does require more effort and it is not always the same. I think an almond flour bread would work splendidly and I do agree, the veggies used should be preferably organic and very fresh. Hugs to you!
Absolutely fabulous idea to use carrot greens. Will need to give this a go!
I hope you do have a chance as carrots are now in season! Let me know how it works out for you 😊
Nothing wasted. Looks so fresh and good. We usually eat all parts of the broccoli….leaves, stems. Freshly dug carrots are so tasty.
Yes, nothing wasted! It has been exciting to observe our broccoli grow. First time experience for me! How do you usually use the leaves of the broccoli?
I wish for one of those delicious looking sandwiches…right now! However, my pillow is calling. I’ve done a few things to make grilled cheese sandwiches more than just mundane but carrot top pesto? First, a garden! Not likely to happen any more but I can dream…Love to get to know that young lady too:) Life has been a party around here…waiting for your next edition…hugs, Gramma
And I would love to make you a sandwich! Still plenty of carrots in the garden to share! Hugs ❤️
Thank you Izzie 😊