Moveable Feasts: The Big Feastival



 Jamie Oliver has always been a big hero of mine so I was beyond chuffed to be asked to talk at his festival, The Big Feastival at the weekend.

I wanted to demonstrate how to cook with carrot tops, beet tops and bits of the vegetable we normally throw away.  I feel passionately about not wasting food and at Peardrop no one is allowed to throw away anything!  I also wanted to show that healthy eating doesn't have to be about spending a fortune on chia seeds or spirulina, but about cooking wholesomely and cleverly with everything we buy.

I decided to go shopping with £20 and, without using obscure ingredients, demonstrate all the ways you can use those ingredients to feed yourself and someone else throughout the week.  A bit like batch cooking but with different combos every day, so you don't get bored.


These are fresh ingredients to buy - any others are store cupboard ingredients (hopefully!)

1 x bunch carrots with tops
1 x bunch beets with tops
1 x fennel
1 x packet tomatoes
1 x packet smoked mackerel
1 x butternut squash
1 x small pot greek yoghurt
1 x bunch coriander
1 x bag mixed salad (rocket or lambs lettuce etc)
1 x packet hazelnuts
1 x packet pumpkin seeds
A dozen eggs
1 x box pearled spelt
3 x lemons
2 x red onions
1 x packet sesame seeds

If you were at The Big Feastival on rainy Sunday, here are the recipes I promised!  Thank you for listening!



Brown rice Kedgeree with smoked mackerel, squash, coriander and a poached egg.  Served with sauteed beet tops and a chilli and cardamom yoghurt

Beetroot speltotto with horseradish and fennel


Beetroot wraps with smoked mackerel, roasted tomatoes, lettuce and horseradish

Spelt salad with carrot top salsa verde, roasted squash and tomatoes, toasted seeds and watercress


Beet top crisps

Beetroot, cranberry and ginger cookies

Tamari toasted squash seeds



Brown rice Kedgeree with smoked mackerel, squash, coriander and a poached egg. Served with sauteed beet tops and a chilli and cardamom yoghurt

Cube and roast your squash, reserving the seeds.

Slowly fry up a red onion in ghee or coconut oil and add 1 tsp turmeric and 1 tsp curry powder.  Meanwhile cook two portions of brown rice in stock.  Mix the cooked rice with the roasted squash, flaked smoked mackerel, onion mixture and chopped coriander.  Remember to save some of your roasted squash back for your salad tomorrow lunch!  Season well with lots of lemon and salt and pepper.

Wash and chop your beet leaves.  Treat them like Swiss Chard.  Saute them in garlic and serve the kedgeree with a poached egg top and the greens on the side.  Try finely chopping some red chilli and mixing it with the Greek yoghurt and 1 tsp ground cardamom, serve it with the kedgeree.

Spelt salad with carrot top salsa verde, roasted squash and tomatoes, toasted seeds and watercress

Carrot top Salsa Verde

1 garlic clove

100g washed carrot tops

5 tbsp olive oil

50g hazelnuts (toasted)

1/2 tbsp wholegrain mustard

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp honey

Fresh black pepper

I love vinegar and like things really sharp so I added some lemon juice too but taste it first.  When you mix it with the spelt, you'd be surprised how it fades.  Add a little extra honey if it's too sharp for you.


Blend all the ingredients in a blender.  If you like it a little chunkier, add the hazelnuts last and pulse.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Chop your tomatoes in half horizontally and lay on their backs on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle with freshly chopped thyme or rosemary (or dried) and sprinkle lightly with salt, balsamic and olive oil.  Cook at 100c for 4 hours (or until shrivelled and dried but juicy).

Tamari Toasted Squash seeds

Rinse the squash seeds in a sieve removing all the stringy bits of squash.  Stir with tamari or soy sauce, a tiny bit of maple syrup and salt.  Roast on a high temp (200c) for 20 or so mins until crispy and caramelised.


Mix the cooked spelt, roasted squash and seeds with the carrot top salsa verde, some shaved fennel and some mixed leaves.  Season to taste and eat for your lunch with a few roasted tomatoes.

Beetroot speltotto with horseradish and fennel

That evening, juice your carrots and your beetroots separately (and reserve the pulp).

Use your beetroot juice to make a spelt risotto (as per the recipe in the link above).  Saute some fennel too with the onion, and serve with a horseradish yoghurt and dill fronds as a garnish.

Beetroot wraps with smoked mackerel, roasted tomatoes, lettuce and horseradish

These are a delicious and different thing to take in to work for lunch.  Add 1 tbsp of your beetroot pulp to a classic crepe recipe.  You can use almond milk if you're dairy intolerant, or buckwheat flour if you don't eat gluten.

In the morning, mix the rest of your horseradish yoghurt (from your Speltotto) in with the mackerel and roll into a wrap with the rest of the lettuce and roasted tomatoes. YUM.

Raw beetroot, cranberry & ginger cookies

Now you use up the rest of your beetroot pulp ...

150g dates

100g beetroot pulp (from the juicer)

70g hazelnuts toasted

65g dried cranberries

4g grated ginger (or to taste)

A generous squeeze of lemon

A generous pinch of salt


Blend until all the ingredients form a sticky paste, reserving 20g of hazelnuts.  Shape into discs.  Blitz the remaining hazelnuts until fine and dip the top of each cookie into the nuts.  Keep refrigerated.

Carrot & red onion crackers

I didn't get onto demonstrating these in the talk but they're a great snack with hummus or cottage cheese at 5pm when you badly want to reach for crisps.


50g red onions

70g ground flaxseed

150g carrot pulp (from the juicer)

50g pumpkin seeds

60ml olive oil

2 tbsp sesame seeds

Juice of half a lemon

4 tsp soy or tamari

1 tsp salt

4 slow roasted tomato halves


Blend all of the above ingredients until smooth and it forms a sort of dough.  Between two pieces of baking paper, flatten it out and press down to about half a cm.  Peel off the top layer of paper and bake in the oven at 50c overnight until crispy.

Beet top crisps

Wash and chop your leaves and mix with your hands with a bit of olive oil, salt, soy sauce and nutritional yeast if you have it.  Spread out on a baking sheet so that they're not touching each other and cook very slowly at 60c for 6 hours until crispy.  Or you can cook them at 120c for 30 minutes and eat them warm.