Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Cilantro Puree

It’s 2016 and California is in the midst of our rainy season with the addition of El Nino weather. Although we have gotten a bit of rain, we are still in a drought and conservation efforts continue. Super Sous and I created our Drought Friendly Recipes project last year and released a handful of recipes that make the most of California water.

Continuing with this project, we have a new recipe, perfect for one our favorite root vegetables, carrots. This recipe uses not only the carrot, but the carrot tops (for the most part the tops are discarded (unless you have a pet rabbit you are feeding)). Carrot tops can be bitter and fibrous, but this method of preparation – turning the tops into a puree mixed with herbs – might just change the way you think about carrots next time you see them in the store.


carrots2 carrots1 carrotpuree

Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Cilantro Puree

Yields: 2 servings


Roasted Carrots


1 bunch of large carrots, approximately 7 carrots, ¾ pounds, with tops

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves


Place an oven rack to the middle position. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Place sheet tray on rack and preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove carrot tops and reserve for puree (recipe below). Peel and cut carrots in half, lengthwise.

In a medium bowl, mix together carrots, grapeseed oil, cumin and salt. Stir to coat the carrots.

When oven is preheated, removed sheet tray and place carrots in one layer on top of the parchment-lined sheet tray.

Roast for 30-35 minutes, until carrots are nicely caramelized, flipping carrots once after 20 minutes.

Serve roasted carrots atop carrot top cilantro puree and garnish with some fresh cilantro leaves.

Serve immediately.


Carrot Top Cilantro Puree

Yield: 1 cup


2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil, divided

1 small onion, peeled and diced small (1½ cups)

5 large garlic cloves, peeled and rough chopped (3 tablespoons)

½ teaspoon ground coriander

1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder

Tops from 1 bunch of large carrots, rinsed and chopped roughly (1 packed cup)

1 cup vegetable broth

1 packed cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

½ cup roughly chopped fresh mint

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

kosher salt, to taste


Place 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil and onions in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly caramelized, approximately 8 to 10 minutes.

Add garlic, coriander and chipotle. Stir and cook until fragrant, approximately 1 minute.

Add carrot tops. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add vegetable broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until broth has reduced and only 1/3 cup of liquid remains, approximately 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Transfer contents of sauté pan into a blender. Add cilantro, mint, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, pepper and 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil to the blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds. Scrape insides of blender down with a rubber spatula and blend again on high for 30 to 45 seconds until fully pureed.

Season to taste with salt and serve puree with roasted carrots.

Refrigerate any remaining puree; use extra for roasted veggies, fish dishes and sandwich spreads.

Tis the Season: Coconut Pumpkin Pie – Drought Friendly

The holidays are upon us and with it comes delicious feasts and treats. Super Sous and I developed this easy, no-bake, drought friendly (aka -no dairy/vegan) Coconut Pumpkin Pie recipe to make your Thanksgiving and other special holiday meals a win. But, wait… why wait til the holidays?! You can prepare and enjoy this right now!

Crust Pumpkin Pie

Making the Crust for the Pie

Crust in Pie Pan Pumpkin Pie

Pie Crust Ready for Chilling

Half Pumpkin Pie

Up Close and Personal with the Pie

Overhead Pumpkin Pie

Overhead Shot of Pie

Slice Pumpkin Pie

Cut Yourself A Slice


Coconut Pumpkin Pie with Ginger Snap Crust and Candied Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Yields: 1 9½-inch deep dish pumpkin pie


Pie Crust:

1 (10-ounce) bag ginger snap cookies (preferably Mi-Del brand)

¼ cup coconut oil

4½ ounces pitted Medjool dates (7 large medjool dates)

Add the ginger snaps, coconut oil and pitted dates to a food processor. Process until very well combined, approximately 1 minute.

Empty the contents into a 9½-inch deep dish pie pan.

Using a flat instrument (I use the top of a non-stick spray can) press the ginger snap mixture firmly and evenly across the bottom and also up the sides of the pie pan, using your thumb as a guide at the top of the pie pan as you press the mixture up the side of the dish.

Transfer into the refrigerator and chill for at least 45 minutes.


Pie Filling:

¼ cup water

1½ teaspoons agar agar powder

1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk (not low-fat)

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree

1 (5.4-ounce) can coconut cream

½ cup dark brown sugar

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Stir to combine the water and agar agar powder in a medium (3½ quart) saucepan. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, coconut cream, dark brown sugar, salt and pepper and stir well to combine.

Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a rolling boil, stirring often with a spatula, making sure to scrape the bottom of the sauce pan to prevent burning.

Once the mixture comes to a rolling boil, immediately remove from heat and set aside to cool for one hour, stirring occasionally. After one hour stir in the vanilla extract.

Pour the cooled pumpkin mixture into the prepared pie shell and return to the refrigerator.

Chill for at least three hours until firm.

Slice, and serve with a few candied pumpkin seeds.


Candied Spiced Pumpkin Seeds:

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ tablespoon grapeseed oil

¾ cup toasted and salted pumpkin seeds

1½ tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B


Mix together the cinnamon, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat for 1 minute, then add the oil and swirl the pan to evenly distribute.

Add the pumpkin seeds and stir to fully coat.

Cook for approximately 2 minutes, stirring every 20 seconds to heat evenly.

Sprinkle the spice mix evenly over the pumpkin seeds and stir to coat. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring every 5 seconds.

Pour in the pure maple syrup and stir to coat. Continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Keep an eye on the seeds, and if they begin to smoke, turn down the heat a touch and stir more often.

Remove from the heat and transfer the seeds to a parchment-lined sheet pan.

Spread out the seeds, using 2 forks and allow to cool completely. They will candy (harden) as they cool.

Drought Friendly Recipes covered on France 24 News

YES! Our Drought Friendly Recipes were covered by FRANCE 24​, an international news station. We shop at the Hollywood Farmers Market and cook our Alaskan True Cod Taco with Pickled Radish and Radish Top Salsa. Our piece starts at 11 minutes into the broadcast!

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 12.30.13 PM


Sweet Summer Corn Soup

What is summer without corn?! Grilled, sauteed, boiled – it’s all delicious, but one of my all time favorite ways to enjoy corn is corn soup.

This recipe is packed with that sweet corn flavor because everything comes to a boil, including the otherwise discarded cobs. Even when you take all the kernels off, they still hold so much flavor! So, why not use that flavor to your advantage? This recipe is also drought friendly: not only because we use every last inch of that corn on the cob, but also because it’s creamy without using any butter or dairy. The trick? Throwing a potato into the mix to give it extra richness. Oh, and there’s also that dollop of avocado. Mmmm.

corn soup1 corn soup3 corn soup4 corn soup5 corn soup6


Creamed Summer Corn Soup with Chopped Cilantro and Avocado Puree

Yield: 6 cups


¼ cup grapeseed oil

2 large yellow onions, peeled and diced small (3 cups)

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

6 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced (2 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh thyme

teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste

4 ears corn, kernels sliced off the cob (2 cups), reserving cobs

1 medium yellow potato, peeled and diced medium (1 cup)

4 cups vegetable stock

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (juice of 1 large lime)

1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder (or more to taste!)

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

Avocado puree (recipe below)


Heat the grapeseed oil in a small pot over medium heat.

Add the onion, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent.

Stir in the garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

Add the corn (and their cobs), the diced potato and the stock, then cover. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer for approximately 30 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through.

Remove from the heat, then remove and discard the corn cobs.

Using an immersion blender, blend continuously until smooth. Add the lime juice, chipotle powder and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve warm and garnish each bowl with a dollop of avocado puree, a good sprinkle of chopped cilantro and a light grind of pepper.


Avocado Puree

1 large avocado (9 ounces), flesh scooped out, seed and skin discarded

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (juice of 1/2 large lime)

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

A few good grinds of black pepper


In a small food processor combine the ingredients and puree until smooth.

Melon Mint Sorbet

It’s a sweltering summer, so here’s a drought friendly recipe that will cool you off and make your summer fruit last. I recently got a delicious green melon at the Hollywood farmer’s market (from T&D Farms) called an Ogen Melon, originally from Israel. This is part of what makes shopping at the farmers market so fun – being able to try new varieties of fruits and vegetables. If you can’t find an Ogen Melon, you can use Honeydew. Either way, you can go wrong with this sweet, refreshing treat.

Melon1 Melon2 Melon3 Melon4 Melon5 Melon6 Melon8

Melon Mint Sorbet

Yield: approximately 2 pints


1 3-pound ogen melon or honeydew, cut in half and seeded

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup organic corn syrup

40 medium mint leaves

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (approximately 3 to 4 limes)


Scoop out melon and put in a blender. Puree and measure out 3 cups. (Drink any excess for a delicious cooling beverage!) Save the melon shell for optional service.

Add the 3 cups melon puree, sugar, organic corn syrup, mint leaves, salt and lime juice to the blender and blend on high for 30 seconds.

Transfer the blended mixture into an ice cream machine and process until firm. Alternatively, transfer to a container, cover with plastic film (pressing the film directly against the surface of the sorbet) and place into the freezer until firm.

Ginger Pickled Watermelon Rind

Don’t leave behind that watermelon rind!

Watermelons are a low water footprint fruit, using around 50 gallons of water to grow per pound. But a lot of that weight is in the watermelon rind. So, here’s a drought friendly, delicious recipe that will use the rind and extend your summer by months!




Pickled Watermelon Rind

Yield: 10 cups


1 8-pound watermelon

1½ cups distilled white vinegar

4½ cups water

¾ cup granulated sugar

2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch rounds (1/2 cup)

1 2-inch cinnamon stick

½ Serrano pepper

3 whole cloves

5 green cardamom pods, crushed

½ vanilla bean, sliced open and seeds scraped with back of a knife

1 tablespoon kosher salt

10 whole black peppercorns


Cut watermelon in half and scoop out watermelon (yum!) leaving approximately ¼ to ½-inch of flesh on the rind.

Using a vegetable peeler, peel off the green outer layer of the watermelon.

Cut watermelon rind into 1-inch pieces. You should have approximately 10 cups.

Place all ingredients (except diced watermelon rind) in a large pot and heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has melted.

Add watermelon rind, stir and remove from heat.

Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Once cooled to room temperature, transfer to a bowl and place a plate or an inverted saucepan lid over watermelon to submerge the pieces in the liquid.

For maximum flavor, refrigerate for 24 hours before eating.

Yellow Peach and Basil Shrub

I declare this the summer of shrubs! Not the lawn “decoration.” No, the delicious, refreshing and fizzy fruit/vinegar drink that’s popping up at coffee shops and restaurants around the country – a call back to a common drink popular during America’s colonial era.

Simple to make and a perfect way to  store your summer fruit for months on end, here’s our recipe (yup – it’s another Drought Friendly Recipe from me and Super Sous) for a Yellow Peach and Basil Shrub.


Yellow Peach and Basil Shrub

Yellow Peach and Basil Shrub

Yield: 28-ounces shrub mix


1½ pounds ripe yellow peaches, pit discarded, diced large (3 large peaches)

1 cup organic granulated sugar

1 tablespoon orange zest

½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

30 medium basil leaves, bruised with your fingers

½ cup white wine vinegar, plus more to taste


Add diced peaches and sugar to a large bowl. Mash the peaches with a potato masher until mostly pulverized and the sugar is fully dissolved. Stir in the orange zest, orange juice and bruised basil leaves.

Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for 2 hours, stirring once, after 1 hour.

Place a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl and strain the mixture, pressing on the solids with a spatula to extract as much liquid as possible.

(Use the solids in your next smoothie!)

Stir in the vinegar. This beautiful liquid is your “shrub” mix.

Transfer shrub mix into a bottle or jar, close to seal, and store in the refrigerator until ready to enjoy.

Serve one part peach shrub mix for every four parts sparkling water.

Garnish with basil leaves and a few thin slices of peach.

Note: You can make it “adult” by adding a shot of alcohol, like whiskey or vodka.