Sensei Says: To Become One with the Vegetable, Find Alternatives to Steaming

Carrot Greens Pesto 

Carrots + Pesto

More Carrots with Pesto

My experience with steamed vegetables has been horrifying more often than not. Think masses of watery, unidentified green slop. These scares are mostly attributable to my 5+ years eating in dining halls (ok, EVERY dished served was obviously not like this…but most), but restaurants have also been culprits. Some basic steamed veggies can be good, but even those often take some getting used.

So, to those who have come into these terrible, green monstrosities one too many times in their lives – I hear you and I am here for you. And so is Sensei. Together, we can work through this.

The One, the Only…

What a G

This lesson will be on-going, but the key point holds: roast or grill when you can.

Part One: The Selection Process (aka how not to get freaked out by scary look vegetables)

The vegetable section of the produce area in a supermarket can be scary. Very scary, as can be any vegetable that is either (a) not prepared (whole cucumbers, leafy greens…wtf am I supposed to do with THOSE?) or (b) some name you’ve never heard of (kale, bok choy, cress, fiddlehead…are we still on planet Earth here??).

The rewards, however, are bountiful. Kale chips, if Zojirushi rejects my proposal, rest assured, you’re next in line.

My go-to’s as of late have been cucumbers, red peppers, kale and carrots. More on this in the near future.

Part Two: The Prep

Wash, prep, lay on baking sheet, drizzle olive oil, add salt/pepper/other spices I have on hand. Bake around 400 for however long it takes to get crispy (about 10 minutes for the kale, up to 30 for the carrots), and, voila, delicious vegetables for a few meals.

Anyway, was planning on doing my standard coat & roast, but felt that something was amiss in my strategy with carrots: I had been cutting the greens off and tossing them away. Wasteful, so it seemed.

What ever will I do with you?!

A quick Google search later yielded this beautiful masterpiece: a recipe for grilled carrots with carrot greens pesto.

Prep for the carrots remained the same: wash, cut, drizzle w/olive oil + spices, etc.

Carrot greens pesto was WAY easier than I expected.


Carrot greens

A few tablespoons of olive oil

One clove of garlic

Salt/pepper, to taste

Any additional add-ins (I added a few pine nuts)

Cut off carrot greens and blanch them. Add wilted leaves from the stalks to chopped garlic, and chop some more. Add pine nuts. Chop.

Scrape the pulp into a small bowl, add some olive oil, salt, pepper, and you’re good to go! Roast the carrots, and now you have a great dipping sauce (much less a great topping for crackers, mozzarella, sandwiches, chicken breasts, etc.).

Some more pics:


Carrots + Pesto

Baby steps, baby steps. ‘Till next time, Sensei.

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One thought on “Sensei Says: To Become One with the Vegetable, Find Alternatives to Steaming

  1. […] completed the two-week omelet dinner challenge, it’s time to expand your palate and plates. Roasted vegetables! Chicken! […]

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