Carrot and Orange Salad with Parsley Stalk Pesto

Prep time 20 mins | Cooking time 0 Mins | Serves 4
Don’t throw out your parsley stalks! Instead turn them into a vibrant pesto and use it to dress a sweet and juicy orange and carrot salad.


How many times have you found this in the fridge (see image below) and not known what to do with it? You know what I’m talking about. The leftover green stems of parsley, basil, mint and other fresh and tasty herbs. So many times they’ve just sat in the fridge until they go all brown and gooey and then get thrown out. What we so often throw out is one of the best parts of the parsley plant. The stalks are packed full of robust flavour that is an absolute gem in sauces and stocks. So don’t let such valuable greens go to waste. Make a batch of this vibrant green pesto and use it to dress this beautiful carrot and orange salad.

Parsley stalks are packed full of flavour!
Parsley stalks are packed full of flavour!

What The Food? Parsley stalks are packed full of flavour so they taste great in stocks and sauces. Parsley has a myriad of health benefits. Did you know parsley is a rich source of antioxidants such as Vitamin C? These help prevent oxygen-based damage to cells. Its volatile oil components, which include an oil called myristicin, may inhibit tumour formation. Make sure to buy organic parsley to reap its full benefits.

For the salad
  • 1 large carrots, washed
  • 2 shallots (long stems, also known as spring onions), washed
  • 1 cup mixed salad leaves (such as rocket and baby spinach)
  • 2 oranges
For the pesto
  • 1 bunch parsley stems, washed thoroughly to remove dirt, chopped
  • 1 handful basil leaves (I used holy basil or tulsi), chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ cup olive oil

Make the salad. Take a carrot and place it horizontally on a chopping board. Using a vegetable peeler peel the carrot into ribbons. Wash the shallots to remove dirt. Trim off the roots and compost. Slice thinly and add to a large salad bowl with the carrot ribbons and salad leaves.

Segment the orange. Place the orange on a cutting board with the stem and navel ends facing outwards. Slice along the navel and stem end using a sharp small knife. Place the orange so it sits flat and cut along the pith in strips to remove the peel. Cut along the natural lines that divide the flesh and skin to remove the orange segments Check out my handy little Instagram video if you’re not sure. Place into the salad bowl with the carrots and leaves.

Make the pesto. Place the parsley stalks, basil leaves and garlic into a blender along with the olive oil and blitz to form a sooth paste. 

Toss the salad. When ready to serve add some dressing to the salad and toss. Divide among serving plates and serve with extra dressing on the side. This works great as a starter or with grilled fish or chicken.

Brendon’s Tips
  • Store leftover pesto in a screw top jar in the fridge for about 1 week.
  • Parsley stalks work a treat with the carrot and orange in this recipe but you can tweak the flavour of the pesto using just about any soft herb. Save the stems and try mint, basil or even coriander.
  • Toss leftover pesto through hot pasta and sprinkle over grated cheese for a delicious quick meal. It also tastes great stirred through risotto, soups or even spread on a sandwich. Yum!

I love receiving photos of your kitchen creations. Send me your recipes and dishes by tagging #brendonthesmilingchef and #whatsbrendoncooking on Instagram or Tweeting to @bthesmilingchef.

Happy Cooking and Keep Smiling,

Brendon 🙂


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Matt says:

    Great way to minimise food wastage! Looks great!


    1. Thanks so much for the lovely comment Matt. I definitely agree. I really hate to see valuable food go to waste 😉


  2. This looks so colorful and delicious!


    1. Thanks so much for the lovely comment Leslie! I’m glad you liked it as much as I enjoyed putting it together!


  3. I’m a big proponent of using every last scrap of food, even the parts that most people would throw away without a second though, so your thrifty recipe is right up my alley! Besides the economical benefits, it sounds downright delicious.


    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Hannah! Me too! I absolutely hate to see good food go to waste. I was really inspired by the work of Oz Harvest in creating something magical with leftovers. I wrote something about them a few months ago. You can check it out below 😉


  4. bec majec says:



    1. Thanks Bec 😉


  5. chefceaser says:

    Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.


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