• Roots and leaves buckwheat bowl (Sharyn Cairns)Source: Sharyn Cairns

A fibre-packed breakfast grain bowl. Leafy green carrot tops are made into a pesto and pecorino crisps add an umami punch and crunch.






Skill level

Average: 4.4 (18 votes)


  • 6 baby carrots
  • 4 baby beetroots
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • 150 g (1 cup) cooked buckwheat (see Note), warm or at room temperature
  • ½ kohlrabi or turnip, trimmed and thinly shaved on a mandoline

Pecorino crisps

  • 30 g (½ cup) finely grated pecorino
  • 2 tsp black sesame seeds

Carrot top pesto

  • 2 cups (firmly packed) carrot leaves (from 1 bunch), well rinsed
  • 55 g (⅓ cup) pistachio kernels
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 15 g (¼ cup) finely grated pecorino
  • 125 ml (½ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • lemon juice, to taste

Black tahini-yoghurt dressing

  • 120 g (½ cup) thick yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp black tahini or regular tahini
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • lemon juice, to taste

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat oven to 220°C.

Remove the leafy green tops from the carrots and reserve for the pesto. Chop off the stalks and scrub the carrots well. Place the carrots on a baking tray, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and drizzle with oil. Roast for 30 minutes or until golden and tender.

Remove the leaves from the beetroots. Thinly slice 10 of the most tender, small leaves and set aside as a garnish. Scrub the beetroots well and halve. Place the beetroot on a baking tray, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil. Roast for 30 minutes or until tender.

Make the pecorino crisps. Combine the pecorino and sesame seeds in a bowl. Spread the mixture evenly on a baking paper-lined tray to form a 15 cm-diameter circle. Bake for 5 minutes or until golden. Remove and allow to cool and crisp up.

Make the carrot top pesto. Place all of the dry ingredients in a small food processor and finely chop. Add the oil and lemon juice, season with salt and process to combine. Adjust seasoning and consistency as desired. Set aside. If not using immediately, refrigerate with a piece of plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface.

Make the yoghurt dressing. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. The dressing should be a thick pouring consistency. Adjust seasoning as desired.

Arrange the buckwheat, kohlrabi, carrots, beetroot and beetroot leaves in separate piles on serving plates. Dollop over the pesto. Drizzle over the dressing. Crumble over the pecorino crisps.



• To cook buckwheat, place one part well-rinsed buckwheat to two parts water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid ajar and cook for about 15 minutes or until the buckwheat is tender but still chewy. 100 g (1/2 cup) raw buckwheat yields 150 g (1 cup) cooked.


Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Peta Gray. Creative concept by Lou Fay.